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Breakthrough II

In the mid-1950s, Robert Rauschenberg created an innovative series of mixed-media assemblages called “combines.” In 1962, he developed a transfer technique that allowed him to adapt this approach to works on paper. Rauschenberg’s prints incorporate snippets from printed sources—mostly from popular magazines and art reproductions—with hand-drawn gestural marks. Like a Beat poet or jazz musician, Rauschenberg riffed on familiar motifs (Statue of Liberty, odalisque, eye chart, keys, statue of George Washington, and a glass of water). His spontaneous approach—even incorporating a chance break in the stone—and use of recognizable subject matter makes his work an important link between Abstract Expressionism and Pop art.

Robert Rauschenberg
American, 1925–2008
Breakthrough II
1965
Color lithograph on paper
Image (irregular): 44 x 31 1/16 in. (111.8 x 78.9 cm); sheet: 48 1/2 x 34 in. (123.1 x 86.3 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 65.70

Large image not available.