Robert Rauschenberg

Almanac

1962

On display at Tate Modern

Medium
Oil paint, acrylic paint and screenprint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 2450 x 1535 x 25 mm
frame: 2469 x 1552 x 45 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1969
Reference
T01135

Display caption

Rauschenberg began making silkscreen paintings in 1962. He would screen-print images from books and magazines, along with his own photographs, onto the canvas, then apply painterly brushstrokes reminiscent of Abstract Expressionism. His intention was 'to escape the familiarity of objects and collage'. Like all these works, Almanac has no specific meaning or narrative. The images are organised in a loose, poetic manner, creating an impression of visual flux that allows the viewer to free-associate .

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Robert Rauschenberg born 1925

T01135 Almanac 1962

Inscribed on back of canvas 'ALMANAC | RAUSCHENBERG | 1962'
Oil and silkscreen on canvas, 96 x 60 (243 x 152)
Purchased from the Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Paris, and Leo Castelli Inc., New York (Grant-in-Aid) with the aid of the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1969
Exh: Rauschenberg, Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Paris, February-March 1963 (works not numbered); Painting and Sculpture of a Decade 1954-64, Tate Gallery, April-June 1964 (290, repr.); Robert Rauschenberg, Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, September-October 1964 (11, repr.); Robert Rauschenberg, Amerika Haus, Berlin, January-February 1965 (2, repr.); Campo Vitale, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, July-October 1967 (229); 4. Documenta, Kassel, June-October 1968 (Rauschenberg 3, repr.)
Repr: Ronald Alley, Recent American Art (London 1969), pl.20; Andrew Forge, Rauschenberg (London 1969), p.99 Terry Measham, The Moderns 1945-1975 (Oxford 1976), pl.48

This painting comes from the first of Rauschenberg's two groups of black and white silkscreen paintings. The first group was made in 1962 and the second in 1962-3, culminating with 'Barge'.

Rauschenberg states that his titles are rarely specific in intent. They can be used in a way similar to the images in the paintings. Although the images are very specific their juxtaposition evokes non-specific or poetic free association. A plant is placed next to the ocean with no specific literary intent. The viewer's reaction should be personal. The images have an aura of impersonality, enabling the viewer to free-associate on a non-specific level.

All the images in this picture were chosen from books and magazines, with the exception of the view of water towers in the second row from the top which was photographed by Rauschenberg himself from the roof of his old studio at 809 Broadway, New York, where this picture was painted. (This note is based on information from the artist transmitted by Brice Marden in letters of 3 February and 19 February 1970).

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.621-2, reproduced p.621

Tate Etc.

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