Robert Rauschenberg and the art of the New Frontier

TxDzl4eXIlWwBarry Schwabsky at The Nation:

No artist invented more than Robert Rauschenberg. This remark, attributed to his friend Jasper Johns, is probably true (his exception was Picasso)—at least as long as you understand “invention” in its etymological sense, where it doesn’t mean making things up, creating things that didn’t exist before, but literally to “come into” things, in the sense of finding them. In the art of rhetoric, inventio is the systematic gathering of materials out of which a persuasive discourse can be constructed. Looking back over Rauschenberg’s career from its beginnings around the middle of the last century through his death in 2008, as the current retrospective of his work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (on view through September 17) invites us to do, it becomes clear that Rauschenberg was above all a restless and resourceful gatherer of materials, cultural as well as physical.

The show has been curated by MoMA’s Leah Dickerman and Achim Borchardt-Hume of the Tate Modern in London, where the exhibition was first mounted. (After New York, it will travel to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where it will be on view from November 18 to March 25, 2018.) Oddly, while the exhibition in London was simply titled “Robert Rauschenberg,” in New York it’s called “Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends.” Here, his works are interspersed with those of associates like Johns, Rauschenberg’s life partner from the mid-1950s through 1961; Susan Weil, to whom he was married in the early 1950s; Cy Twombly, Niki de Saint Phalle, Andy Warhol, Öyvind Fahlström, and others; as well as copious documentation of his work with the nonprofit Experiments in Art and Technology.

more here.