San Francisco MoMA: Robert Rauschenberg's Erasing the Rules

by - Tuesday, March 06, 2018


Robert Rauschenberg, "Retroactive I" (1963), 84 x 60 in.
Oil and silkscreen ink on canvas

Robert Rauschenberg, "Bed" (1955), 75 1/4 x 31 1/2 x 8 in.
Oil and pencil on pillow, quilt, and sheet on wood supports

Alexander Calder 'Scaling Up' Showroom

Jeans Topshop | Boots Urban Outfitters | Backpack Target

My first time at the San Francisco MoMA was nothing short of amazing. I was so excited to hear that the Robert Rauschenberg's exhibit was still on view, especially because he is one of my favourite contemporary artists and I have never seen any of his works in person.
Rauschenberg was a visionary, a true avant-garde artist who didn't follow the rules of the Greenbergian philosophy of the 20th century Contemporary artists. His art was unapologetic and revolutionary to what we now consider contemporary art.
Some of his most famous works were his combines, such as Bed, which is a combination of the mediums used in his work (hence combines!). Bed is a significant piece from his collection, because some art historians believe it's a self-portrait of Rauschenberg.

I didn't take many photographs because I wanted to fully experience his showroom, look at every piece and examine all the details. The two pictures I did take were of my two favourite works of his, Bed and Retroactive I. As a fan of pop art, it's no surprise that his Neo-Dada works from the Retroactive series are my absolute favourites (I even got my hands on the copy of Retroactive I from the museum store!).

Taking art history classes at school brought so much appreciation for art I didn't have before. Contemporary and Modern Art used to be the most confusing things in the world! But thanks to my art history classes, art slowly became something I looked forward to every day.
What I love most about Contemporary Art is the fact that most of it is conceptual. Each artist brings about a concept behind their work, sometimes not as obvious, but nevertheless there's always a deeper story even if you're just looking at a rock!

I know there are people who will never be able to understand Modern and Contemporary Art because it's just too avant-garde and abstract to grasp. I used to be one of those people.
But in reality, you don't really have to understand a form of art to appreciate what the artist was trying to do.  A person spent time developing an idea and executing it in order to show how they were feeling, and what they were thinking. It's an expression coming from the inside, just like music or film.

Art will always be a form of liberation and empowerment through emotions, political movements and time periods. It's a time stamp from past and future all in one.
If you're ever in a vicinity of a museum or a gallery, do step inside because you never know what you might find. It might speak to you, it might not.
It might leave you more confused than ever, but hey you were affected by it without even realizing it.

The Robert Rauschenberg exhibit is open until March 25th, and you can get your tickets here.

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