United States of America 1925 – 2008

Arena I, state I 1969
Collection Title: the 'Stoned moon' series, 1969-70
Title Notes: 003-005
Materials & Technique: prints, planographic lithograph, printed in one colour from one stone Support: Arches Cover paper
Edition State: state one
Impression: right to print
Edition: edition of 12 plus 5 artist's proofs; right to print proof; Robert Rauschenberg Foundation proof
Publisher: GEMINI G.E.L.
Place Published: Los Angeles
Date Published: 1969

Edition Notes: Proofing and processing by Kenneth Tyler, edition printing by Daniel Freeman assisted by Andrew Vlady. A one colour lithograph printed from stone in gray. Rauschenberg was invited by NASA to observe the launch of Apollo 11 in July 1969. Gemini G.E.L commissioned the artist to do a series of prints based on his observations, a commission which resulted in the 'Stoned moon' series of 33 lithographs. Rauschenberg also made use of photographs and other materials supplied to him by James Dean of NASA.
Primary Insc: signed and dated, lower right, in pencil 'RAUSCHENBERG 69' inscribed, lower right, in pencil 'RTP/ STATE I'
Secondary Insc: embossed, lower right, Gemini chop and copyright symbol
Tertiary Insc: verso: stamped, in grey ink 'GEMINI GEL, LOS ANGELES, CALIF.' verso: inscribed, lower left, in pencil 'RR 69 - 280A'
Dimensions: sheet 119.4 h x 81.2 w cm
Cat Raisonné: Gemini GEL Gemini GEL catalogue raisonne cat. 164
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 73.1159
Image rights: © Robert Rauschenberg/VAGA. Licensed by Viscopy
  • In 1969 Rauschenberg was invited by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to witness one of the most significant social events of the decade − the launch of Apollo 11, the shuttle that would place man on the moon. NASA provided Rauschenberg with detailed scientific maps, charts and photographs of the launch, which formed the basis of the Stoned moon series − comprising thirty-three lithographs printed at Gemini GEL. The Stoned moon series is a celebration of man’s peaceful exploration of space as a ‘responsive, responsible collaboration between man and technology’.

    The combination of art and science is something that Rauschenberg continued to investigate throughout the 1960s in what he calls his ‘blowing fuses period’.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra