Publicon Station V, 1978
From an edition of 30. Signed and Numbered
18 x 36 x 8 inches (45.7 x 91.4 x 20.3 cm.)
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American painter and graphic artist Robert Rauschenberg pioneered the use of nontraditional materials in the creation of artwork, incorporating three-dimensional everyday objects and printed matter such as photographs and newspaper excerpts. Those highly-acclaimed and disruptive ‘Combines’ resulted in the progressive blend of painting and sculpture, questioning the distinction between fine art and readymade objects. Although primarily a painter and sculptor, Robert also worked with printmaking, photography and performance throughout his six-decade spanning career. To him we owe the foundations of what would be later called conceptual art, based on his ‘Neo-Dadaist’ belief that it was at the artist’s own discretion to define art.
Publicon Station V is a mixed-media sculpture composed using a myriad of different materials, such as aluminum, wood, silk, cotton, Plexiglas and a lightbulb, among others. Part of a series of 30 Publicons – public icons –, this piece embodies Rauschenberg’s most iconic radical blend of methods and materials at the heart of his artistic legacy. Using everyday found objects the artist creates an impactful work of art, resulting in a cabinet that opens to reveal a suspended brick. Rauschenberg’s pieces remained a far-reaching influence for later modern artists, such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, well beyond his lifetime.