Just In: ‘Pull (from Hoarfrost Editions)’ by Robert Rauschenberg
Robert Rauschenberg had a soft spot for worksÂ and processesÂ that embraced the ephemeral, both conceptually and in practice.Â Like each of the works in theÂ HoarfrostÂ series,Â Pull (fromÂ HoarfrostÂ Editions),Â which LAMA is delighted to include in the February 25, 2018 Modern Art & Design Auction,Â explores themes of an elusive, fleeting nature. TheÂ translucent, gauzyÂ layers ofÂ delicate,Â gossamer-like cloth andÂ theÂ barely legible, yet not entirely unrecognizable imagery of this piece all point to themes of transienceÂ and transcendence.
The processes and development of this 1974 work began more than two decades prior to its execution. InÂ 1958 Rauschenberg commenced work on a two-year project to illustrateÂ all 34Â cantos of Danteâ€™sÂ Inferno.Â The resulting series of transfer drawings combinedÂ original watercolors and drawings created by Rauschenberg with a bevy of popularÂ imagesÂ referencing diverse contemporary events and personalities thatÂ the artist culled from glossy magazines. He transferred these images by first soaking them in lighter fluid â€” which worked asÂ a chemical solventÂ â€”which he then transferred onto paper by rubbing them facedown with an empty ballpoint pen.
RauschenbergÂ continuedÂ toÂ augmentÂ and experiment withÂ this unique transferÂ processÂ in the years following the creation of hisÂ Inferno. ByÂ the time he started work on the suite of nine related prints for hisÂ Hoarfrost Editions, which he created inÂ 1974 in collaboration with the master printers at Los Angeles-based print studio GeminiÂ G.E.L., RauschenbergÂ had completely refinedÂ hisÂ bricolageÂ approach to combining original drawings and watercolors with popular imagesÂ transferred from mass mediaÂ publications and other sources onto unique,Â unstretchedÂ surfaces, such as household textiles.
Rauschenberg’sÂ PullÂ isÂ the result of an intricate process that first involved gluing a paper bag toÂ cheesecloth using an acrylic polymer matte medium.Â For this particular work he nextÂ transferred images of three blue faces â€” both in offset â€”Â and a screen-printed image of a diver onto the cheesecloth. After this, Rauschenberg transferred a screened image of a diver and imagery sourced from newspapers, as well as images of a salad bowl and a blue face â€” also both in offset â€” all onto silk taffeta. Finally, cheesecloth and the paper bags at the top of the work were glued to the silk taffeta and two machine-stitched holes near the top of the work were included in order to allow for easy mounting of the finished piece. The final effect is one not unlike the frosty, spectra phenomenon from which it takes its cue.
Pull (fromÂ Hoarfrost Editions)
Offset lithograph and screenprint transferred to collage of paper bags and fabric on cheesecloth and silk taffeta
#19 of 29
Published and printed by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
Signed and dated with edition lower center edge
Gemini G.E.L. #41.93
Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000
February 25, 2018 Modern Art & Design Auction