Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) is considered one of the most influential American artists of the 20th century. His nuanced approach to the popular culture that surrounded him and the history of art that preceded him made his voice unique. But does his inclusion in the canon of art history prevent us (viewers firmly rooted in contemporary ways of looking) from seeing his artwork as the incisive commentary that it remains?
Taking its name from Gloria (1956), an iconic work by Rauschenberg in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, this exhibition explores the interests and actions of Rauschenberg in the 1950s through a younger set of eyes, those of internationally acclaimed artist Rachel Harrison (b. 1966), who has become known for her original approach to art-making that simultaneously addresses and analyzes the conventions of art and mass culture.
An amalgam of artistic innovation, pop culture trivia, wry humor, and sharp critique, Gloria: Robert Rauschenberg & Rachel Harrison juxtaposes these two unconventional thinkers, featuring landmark Combine works and photographs by Rauschenberg alongside a grouping of pivotal sculptures and drawings by Harrison.
The Cleveland Museum of Art is supported in part by Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this exhibition with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
Untitled, 2012. Rachel Harrison (American, b. 1966). Colored pencil on paper; 56.8 x 70.8 cm. Private collection, New York. Courtesy Greene Naftali, New York. Photo: John Berens.