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The Robert Rauschenberg we know and love is well-enshrined in his latest retrospective, “Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends,” opening at the Museum of Modern Art on May 21st. But maybe it’s time to start questioning our conventional image of the artist for what it evades.

The old story goes like this: He would have been the greatest Abstract Expressionist alive if he wasn’t so busy destroying the old guard of Pollocks and Rothkos. Rauschenberg’s early paintings indicate an aptitude for the densely philosophical abstractionism he would later rail against. Works like Untitled (1951) inherit that sinking line of thought, pulsing like jazz across the dark, gravelly textures of his enormous black monochromatic painting. But Untitled is also transgressive, disrupting Abstract Expressionism’s sacred sense of time and place; there are no brushstrokes here, and the canvas panels can be rearranged in any order.

To read more:

Why Can’t the Art World Embrace Robert Rauschenberg’s Queer Community? 

https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-art-embrace-robert-rauschenbergs-queer-community

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