Robert Rauschenberg born 1925
Etching and lithograph 1073 x 759 (42 1/4 x 29 7/8) on Rives BFK paper, same size; printed by Keith Brintzenhofe, Douglas Volle, John Lund and Craig Zammiello at Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, Long Island and published by Universal Limited Art Editions in an edition of 37
Inscribed ‘Rauschenberg 36/37 84' b.l.
Purchased from Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, Long Island (Grant-in-Aid) 1985
P77127 was executed in 1984 and, in combining photo-etching with photo-lithography, it represents a significant advance in Rauschenberg's printmaking technique. The work was executed from nine separate printings in all. Four printings were made from copper plates on an etching press by John Lund and Craig Zammiello. The plates were made from Rauschenberg's own photographs which he took in Morocco in 1982. Three of these depict scenes from the bazaar - hence the title of the work - namely a fruit stall, the interior of a dress shop and a horse and walking figure. The fourth photograph is a view of an outcrop of cacti. In keeping with Rauschenberg's usual practice in using his own photographs, all the images have a ‘snapshot' quality. This is due either to their deliberately unremarkable subject matter or the intentional awkwardness of the photography. For example, the photograph at bottom right is framed so that parts of both the figure and horse have been cropped. Only the photograph of the dress shop looks unusual because it is printed in negative. The other five printings were made from a hand-fed offset printing press by Keith Brintzenhofe and Douglas Volle. These produced the four photo-lithographed images of the striped and polka-dot fabrics and also the line forming a box shape which passes through the bottom three photographs.
There is a correspondence between the striped fabric draped above the rail of dresses in the photograph at bottom left and the red striped fabric printed across the bottom half of the composition. This visual rhyme acts as a bridge between the images produced by the two different techniques, thus unifying the composition. It is also a means by which Rauschenberg invites the viewer to speculate on the connections between its apparently unrelated constituent elements.
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, p.450