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June 06 2012

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Interview with Executive Director Christy MacLear

Robert Rauschenberg was one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. He became famous for his “Combines”, works in which he used everyday objects and materials in innovative combinations. Lesser known are his philanthropic activities such as his Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI), a seven year, ten country tour through Mexico, Cuba, Chile, Venezuela, Beijing, Tibet, Japan, Malaysia, the Soviet Union, and Berlin. With ROCI, which he announced at the United Nations in 1984, he intended to encourage “world peace and understanding”.

In 1990, Robert Rauschenberg, who was convinced that “Art Can Change the World”, formed the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (RRF). With the RRF, Robert Rauschenberg wanted to promote awareness of the causes and groups close to his heart. Among the activities of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation have been grant making, educational programs and the support of environmental and humanitarian initiatives. Recently, the RRF has extended this scope with varied programs, including a new grant for artistic innovation and collaboration to fund small-to-medium arts organizations.

On the occasion of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s presentation of Rauschenberg’s Cardboards series and Gluts series, VernissageTV met with the Executive Director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Christy MacLear, who tells us more about the Foundation’s history, mission, grants and programs, and future presentations and activities.

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Interview with Executive Director Christy MacLear. The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York City, May 18, 2012.

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June 05 2012

Robert Rauschenberg: Cardboards and Gluts / Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Last month, VernissageTV had the privilege to be in invited to see a private presentation at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in New York. The presentation at Robert Rauschenberg’s former studio in Manhattan had its focus on two fascinating aspects of Rauschenberg’s oeuvre: the Cardboards series and the Gluts series.

We were not only able to document the exhibition, but two renowned Robert Rauschenberg experts, Susan Davidson (curator at Guggenheim and RRF Board member) and David White (curator at Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Board member) even gave us an exclusive tour of the presentation and provided us with fascinating insights into Robert Rauschenberg’s life and work.

The above video is an excerpt of the tour, the video with the complete walk-through with Susan Davidson and David White is available after the break.

Prior to the tour, we had also the opportunity to speak with artist, sculptor and photographer Jean-Marc Bustamante and Pratt Institute Graduate Julia Monk about Robert Rauschenberg’s Cardboards Series. The interviews with Jean-Marc Bustamante and Julia Monk are available after the break.

We had also the opportunity to speak with the Executive Director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Christy MacLear. In a video interview that we will publish soon, Christy MacLear provides us more information about the Foundation’s history, mission, grants and programs, and future presentations and activities.

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation: Cardboards and Gluts. Guided tour with Susan Davidson (curator at Guggenheim and RRF Board member) and David White (curator at Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Board member). The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York City, May 18/21, 2012.

PS: See also: VernissageTV Classics (r3): Robert Rauschenberg and Darryl Pottorf at Jamileh Weber (2006).

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.
> On YouTube:


Robert Rauschenberg has been very productive and created an oeuvre that is innovative and prolific. He is one of the most famous artists, but despite of that, some aspects of his work are not very known, even to experts. The Cardboards series is one of them. Rauschenberg had his breakthrough with the Combines, works that are neither sculpture nor painting, but a combination of a variety of objects, materials, and artistic techniques. The Cardbaord works that he produced after he moved from New York to Captiva Island in Florida in 1970 present a continuation of that body of work, but instead of using all sorts of materials, Robert Rauschenberg confined himself to discarded cardboard boxes.

Complete walk-through with Susan Davidson and David White (36:23 min.):

In the 1980s Robert Rauschenberg turned to a new material: metal. The Gluts series was inspired by a visit to Houston, when the Texas economy was suffering a receccsion due to a surplus of supply (glut) in the oil market. Back in his studio in Captiva, he began to collect gas-station signs and other industrial parts and transformed them into wall reliefs and freestanding sculptures.

Jean-Marc Bustamante, Artist, Sculptor and Photographer, talks about Robert Rauschenberg’s Cardboards Series (7:21 min.):

Julia Monk, Graduate from Pratt Institute, talks about Robert Rauschenberg’s Cardbaords Series (4:28 min.):

Photo set:

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May 06 2011

VernissageTV Classics (r3): Robert Rauschenberg and Darryl Pottorf at Jamileh Weber (2006)

On July 15, 2006 Galerie Jamileh Weber in Zurich opened an exhibition with a selection of works by Robert Rauschenberg and new works by Robert Rauschenberg’s former assistant Darryl Pottorf. The exhibition was quite unique in that the selection of works by Rauschenberg presented in this show are all works that the artist kept for his own collection. In this video, we attend the opening reception of the exhibition.

Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) came to prominence in the 1950s transition from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. Robert Rauschenberg was both a painter and a sculptor. He is well-known for his “Combines” that are a combination of both. He also worked with photography, printmaking, papermaking, and performance. In 1993 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Robert Rauschenberg lived and worked in New York City as well as on Captiva Island, Florida until his death on May 12, 2008.

This is the fifth segment in our new series r3 that highlights the treasures of VernissageTV’s huge archive. R3 is a series of VernissageTV classics, now re-mastered, re-edited and reissued in High Definition. Click here for the complete list of videos.

PS: Here’s the original version. More Robert Rauschenberg-related videos are available here.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

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