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Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925–2008)
LOT ID: 76488
Dayton's Gallery 12 Poster, 1970

Offset lithograph
35.3 х 30.4 in. (89.66 x 77.22 cm.)
Signed, Hand signed and dated by Robert Rauschenberg; also bears distinctive plate signature on image
Print/Casting Year 1970
Edition 100
Foundry/Publisher Datyton's Gallery 12 & Castelli Graphics
Lot description
For true fans of Robert Rauschenberg and for collectors of valuable Pop Art ephemera of the Sixties and early Seventies, this hand signed limited edition Dayton's poster is a must-have, as it a classic example of ephemera created to promote an exhibition that has become as desirable, if not more than the actual work it depicts. Indeed, this rare print is fully referenced in the catalogue raisonne of Rauschberg's Prints from 1948-1970. (Foster, plate 153).

This offset lithograph was published by Dayton's Gallery 12, Minneapolis and Castelli Graphics, New York to promote the very first exhibition of Rauschenberg's groundbreaking "Currents" series. Although the print is not numbered, the catalogue raisonne expressly states that Rauschenberg signed the work in an edition of only 100; it is quits scarce thus.

Rauschenberg's historic ''Currents'' series was an important group of works that functioned as "an active protest attempting to share and communicate [the artist's] response to and concern with our grave times and place." Rauschenberg collected articles from major newspapers in January and February of 1970 to create this series, first displayed at Dayton's Department Store Gallery 12 in Minneapolis in conjunction with Leo Castelli Gallery. At the time, 'Currents' was attacked by critics for lacking emotion, but in reality Rauschenberg's goal was to compel viewers to develop a social and political conscience by forcing their confrontation with dismal headlines of the day literally head-on. An historical relic of the 70's, many of the issues Rauschenberg focused on can be viewed as parallel to those of today.

The catalogue raisonne states that collage depicted in this poster, Studies for Currents #31, was the basis of the design to which another plate with text and additional work was added. Here, the images capture the zeitgeist of the times, with news about Nixon (who would resign 4 years later), and the headline "War Called Far from Won." Ironically, this same series has been rediscovered four decades later, only to be critically acclaimed today for the same reasons it was met with skepticism when first exhibited. Indeed, in 2010 the Museum of Modern Art dedicated an entire room to an installation of Rauschenberg's "Currents" series in its exhibition "Contemporary Art from the Collection", singling out Currents #31, along with others in the series, as some of the most significant - and relevant - works of the museum's entire collection.

This print was published by Dayton's Gallery 12 and Castelli Graphics, and it was printed by hand at Styria Studio, Glendale, California (Printer: Adolph Rischner).

The show traveled from Dayton's to Automation House, Castelli Graphics in NYC, and the Pasadena Art Museum in California.

American artist, Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) was one of the 20th century's most influential and innovative artists. He is credited with bridging the movements of Abstract Expressionism, Fluxus, and Pop Art. Rauschenberg actively embraced the print and collage format, and he did numerous photographic transfer collages with diverse techniques.

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Dayton's Gallery 12 Poster by Robert Rauschenberg
  • Dayton's Gallery 12 Poster by Robert Rauschenberg
  • Dayton's Gallery 12 Poster by Robert Rauschenberg
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