Tibetan Garden Song, 1986
Signed and Numbered
43 x 18 1/4 inches (109.2 x 46.4 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.
Tibetan Garden Song showcases a Chinese cello to which the artist attached a scroll maker’s brush and placed inside a chrome washtub. Having a knack for finding ordinary and often discarded objects and masterfully transforming them into impactful and bold works of art, this piece is regarded as an ‘ode to inventiveness’. Rauschenberg’s pieces remained a far-reaching influence for later modern artists, such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, well beyond his lifetime.