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Random Order: Robert Rauschenberg and the Neo-Avant-Garde

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Robert Rauschenberg is one of the most important visual artists of the second half of the twentieth century. In Random Order, Branded Joseph examines Rauschenberg's work in the context of the American neo-avant-garde. One of the foundations of his study is Rauschenberg's professional relationship with experimental composer John Cage. From the moment of their encounter at Black Mountain College in 1952, Joseph argues, Rauschenberg and Cage initiated a new avant-garde project, one that approached the idea of ...
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Cambridge 2003 Hard cover New ed. New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 432 p. Contains: Illustrations, black & white. October Books (Hardcover). Audience: ... General/trade. hardcover, new dust jacket, covers as new with sharp corners, pages clean and unmarked, tight binding as unread (clean page edge). Free Post Office Delivery Confirmation. Shipped in a padded envelope and packaged in bubble wrap. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Robert Rauschenberg is one of the most important visual artists of the second half of the twentieth century. In Random Order, Branded Joseph examines Rauschenberg's work in the context of the American neo-avant-garde. One of the foundations of his study is Rauschenberg's professional relationship with experimental composer John Cage. From the moment of their encounter at Black Mountain College in 1952, Joseph argues, Rauschenberg and Cage initiated a new avant-garde project, one that approached the idea of difference not in terms of negation but as a positive force. Rauschenberg's neo-avant-garde was not a simple repetition of earlier avant-garde movements, Joseph shows, but a series of practices that opposed the rise of postwar spectacle, commodification, and mass conformity.

Beginning with the White Paintings, Joseph examines Rauschenberg's artistic development from 1951 to 1971. He looks at the black paintings, Red Paintings, Elemental Paintings and Elemental Sculptures, Combines and Combine paintings, transfer drawings and silkscreens, performances, and Rauschenberg's explorations in art and technology. Joseph's study not only offers new interpretations of Rauschenberg's work, but also deepens our understanding of the entire neo-avant-garde project.

About the Author:
Branden W. Joseph is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One of the leading artists of the avant-garde, Robert Rauschenberg (b. 1925) has had an active career since World War II, yielding a widely diverse assortment of paintings, assemblage, and performance art projects. Although past observers of the art scene have found it difficult to describe and assess his prolific, eclectic output, these two volumes succeed in providing, from different perspectives, a clearer understanding of this often enigmatic man and his achievements. Joseph (art history, Univ. of California) closely examines Rauschenberg's work in a detailed and scholarly view of the artist's career from 1951 to 1971, as seen through the context of such works as the White Paintings, Rebus, and Canyon-"Combine" paintings created from varied materials-as well as through his close professional association with composer John Cage. Joseph considers Rauschenberg in relation to the neo-avant-garde movement itself, as well as in respect to the sociological, philosophical, and artistic frames of reference that helped to define it. Those interested in the interrelationship of various modern arts genres will find this book especially illuminating. With 103 illustrations. Breaking Boundaries views Rauschenberg's life and creative output with special emphasis on the influences derived from the urban environment, the artist's creative methods and studio surroundings, collaborations with choreographer Trisha Brown, and the massive and long-term Overseas Culture Interchange project. Mattison (art history, Lafayette Coll.) presents a select group of works for in-depth analysis as the key to the art and the artist. The content and style of this lavish, oversized work, with its many photographs and illustrations (72 black-and-white, 32 color), will appeal to academic audiences yet at the same time is accessible to the general reader with an interest in the subject. Libraries owning Mary Lynne Kotz's Rauschenberg: Art and Life (1990) may want to update their collections with these new volumes and with Leo Steinberg's more recent Encounters with Rauschenberg. Recommended for large collections specializing in the arts.-Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"...succeeds in highlighting an anarchic and gratuitously radical streak in Rauschenberg's early practice that is worth attending to, one that is neither a repeat of earlier avant-garde gesturings nor simply an accommodation to the values and commodifying mechanisms of postwar American consumer society." Alex Potts Art Bulletin

"The strongest passages deal with individual works in depth and with remarkable sensitivity to context. A chapter devoted to Rauschenberg's live performances is outstanding." James Lawrence Burlington Magazine

"Those interested in the interrelationship of various modern arts genres will find this book especially illuminating." Carol J. Binkowski Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262100991
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Series: October Books
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Branden W. Joseph is Frank Gallipoli Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and an editor of the journal Grey Room (MIT Press).

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction: The Art of Assemblage     1
White on White     25
Pedestrian Colors     73
Mole Archaeology     121
Split Screens     173
Moving Images     209
Conclusion     281
Notes     287
Bibliography     379
Index     409
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