United States of America 1925 – 2008

Sky hook 1969
Collection Title: the 'Stoned moon' series, 1969-70
Title Notes: 003-019
Materials & Technique: prints, planographic lithograph, printed in one colour from one stone Support: Special Arjomari paper
Impression: right to print
Edition: edition of 52 plus RTP, PPII, 3 GEL, 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 Charles Ritt assisted by Ronald Adams. A one colour lithograph printed from one stone in black. 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 centre in pencil 'RAUSCHENBERG 69' inscribed lower centre 'RTP'
Secondary Insc: verso: embossed lower left with chops © copyright and Gemini GEL embossed in black ink 'GEMINI GEL, LOS ANGELES, CALIF' inscribed lower left in pencil 'RR 69-275'
Dimensions: 121.8 h x 86.4 w cm
Cat Raisonné: Gemini G.E.L. (1984) cat. 183
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 73.1165
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