Ketterer Kunst Logo

Search Lots

Sale: 470 / Post War I, June 09. 2018 in Munich Lot 919

Lot description
County Sweep (Galvanic Suite). 1989.
Mixed media . Acrylic and enamel on galvanized steel.
Signed and dated in center at bottom. Verso inscribed with the work number "89.62". 123 x 305 cm (48.4 x 120 in).

The work is registered in the archive of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York with the number "89.062".

PROVENANCE: Private collection Sweden.
Galerie Wild, Frankfurt.
Private collection Hesse (acquired from aforementioned in 1995).

EXHIBITION: Rauschenberg, Heland Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm September 5 – October 8, 1989 (verso with the label).

"What makes my works so wonderful, if I may say, is that I decided to ennoble the ordinary. [..] I feel that if you don‘t move you will step on someone‘s feet, if you stand still for too long you get into people’sway. And that explains why I don‘t fear change– actually, it is the opposite that scares me. Because if you don‘t move on you start to rot."
Robert Rauschenberg, 1989, quote from: Künstler. Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst, p.14.

Contrary to Picasso, who remained true to concreteness despite his permanent stylistic progressiveness, Rauschenberg‘s tremendous oeuvre crosses the traditional border between figurative and abstract painting. His artistic quest for confrontation is massive and made the only 27 years old artist suddenly famous in 1953, when he asked Willem de Kooning, star of Abstract Expressionism, if he could erase one of his works. The result of what was seen as an act of vandalism was the "Erased de Kooning Drawing", today on display at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, which showed, after Rauschenberg exhibitions at MOMA, New York (2017) and Tate Modern, London (2017) the last big solo show of works by the exceptional American artist under the title "Robert Rauschenberg. Erasing the Rules" until March 2018. Since the 1950s Rauschenberg kept reinventing the overall concept of art, always probing the limits and permanently creating fundamentally new things: Next to the "Erased de Kooning Drawing", his monochrome white, black and red pictures, to which he was inspired by John Cage‘s soundless works, as well as his famous 'Combine' "Monogram", in which he formed a seemingly absurd piece through the combination of a taxidermied angora goat with a car tire and a tennis ball, count among his most well-known creations from the 1950s. Just as it is the case with Rauschenberg‘s 'Combines' and 'Combine-paintings', which also feature objects as key elements, his transfer drawings and silkscreen paintings based on images from papers and magazines were initially regarded as provocative acts while they soon became icons of a new concept of art. Today Rauschenberg‘s innovative perception of art is seen in terms of its relevance for the development of Pop Art, which puts focus on the artistic presentation of everyday objects and events. In Rauschenberg‘s unique creations the products from the torrent of media images spread out in front of the observer like on a "tabula rasa" and seem to expand Rauschenberg‘s pictorial repertoire to infinity. While his transfer drawings, for which he transfers the printed picture onto a superimposed sheet by soaking it with solvents and processing it by hand, limit the dimensions of the illustration to the size of the original model print, Rauschenberg managed to break this boundary in his legendary silkscreen pictures from the 1960s: In a first step Rauschenberg rubs the printed matter onto paper and then transfers the motifs onto the image carrier by means of the silkscreen. These revolutionary creations are no longer limited to the model‘s original dimensions and colors. The observer witnesses the simultaneous emergence of different gestural and silkscreen elements from the surface. The panoramic work "County Sweep" is a prime example of Rauschenberg‘s silkscreen paintings from the 1980s, which he no longer executed onto canvas, as it had been common practice in the 1960s, but onto large reflective metal surfaces. Owing to the panoramic width of the monumental landscape format of "County Sweep", the gestural and silk-screened components partly emerge beyond our visual field, while title and the selection of pictorial elements of broom, pig and the crowd of male Southerners leave a lot of room for new associative references and interpretations. Rauschenberg‘s works preserve and transform reality and create a complex message, which often appeals to the observer‘s political-social conscience, just as it is the case here. "I want to shake people up" Rauschenberg once said, "I want people to look at the material and to react to it. I want to make them aware of their individual responsibility, both for themselves and for others, too. Being self-complacent is so easy. Spending a couple of dimes on a newspaper and reading it seems to be enough to ease your conscience. And you wrap your conscience in an old newspaper just the way you would wrap your trash in it." Above all, the monumental composition "County Sweep" is a remarkable artistic document of how nothing is coincidental in Rauschenberg‘s art, while everything is possible.[JS]
Robert Rauschenberg
County Sweep (Galvanic Suite), 1989.
Mixed media
€ 250,000 / $ 287,500
€ 537,500 / $ 618.125

(incl. 25% surcharge)

More Images
Robert Rauschenberg - County Sweep (Galvanic Suite) - Frame image
Frame image
Robert Rauschenberg - County Sweep (Galvanic Suite) -
Robert Rauschenberg - County Sweep (Galvanic Suite) -
Robert Rauschenberg - County Sweep (Galvanic Suite) -
Robert Rauschenberg - County Sweep (Galvanic Suite) -
Robert Rauschenberg - County Sweep (Galvanic Suite) -
Robert Rauschenberg - County Sweep (Galvanic Suite) -
You might also be interested in
Robert Rauschenberg - lots sold by Ketterer Kunst