“Among Friends” is the title of the Robert Rauschenberg retrospective currently on exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art. For me this title could not be more apt since going to the show really felt like a homecoming in sense.
Rauschenberg’s work captured my imagination in a powerful way when I was in art school and experimenting with a variety of media. Visiting this show was like visiting an old mentor who I first encountered at his retrospective at The Guggenheim Museum in the 1997. Twenty years later, my perspective has grown, but the impact of his advances remains evident. Indeed, his incorporation of mundane and non-traditional materials in his work left an imprint in my own thinking and process to this day. Seeing these works again in a retrospective format was a much a journey through time for the artist as it was for myself, the viewer.
A work that I encountered for the first time was the “Hiccups” series. Very graphic and innovative (each panel is connected to its accompanying artwork using zippers), this piece wound up being my favorite in the show. I recommend checking it out for yourself.