Robert RAUSCHENBERG, Sack Enlarge 1 /1


United States of America 1925 – 2008

Sack 1969
Collection Title: the 'Stoned moon' series, 1969-70
Title Notes: 003-007
Place made: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Materials & Technique: prints, planographic lithograph, printed in five colours from four stones (one stone photo-sensitized and one cracked stone) and one aluminium plate Support: Special Arjomari paper
Impression: right to print
Edition: edition of 60 plus 10AP, RTP, PPII, 3GEL, SP, C
Publisher: GEMINI G.E.L.
Place Published: Los Angeles
Date Published: 1970

Edition Notes: Processing and proofing by Kenneth Tyler. Edition printing by Daniel Freeman assisted by Ronald Adams, Stewart Henderson, Andrew Vlady. Five colours printed: tan (photo-sensitized stone), burnt-brown (cracked stone), gold-brown, silver-tan (stones) and transparent tan (plate). The second stone cracked during proofing and the edition was printed from the cracked stone. As the printing continued, the fissure in the stone widened and created an embossing of the paper in the later stages of the edition. 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.
Dimensions: sheet 101.7 h x 71.0 w cm
Cat Raisonné: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, (1970), 82.
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 73.1161
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