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Robert RAUSCHENBERG

United States of America 1925 – 2008

Cardbird series [Cardbird series. A set of seven wall sculptures, numbered I to VII] 1971 Description: (a set of seven wall sculptures, numbered I to VII)
Materials & Technique: prints, planographic, stencil, collage Acknowledgement: Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 73.1173.1-7
Image rights: © Robert Rauschenberg/VAGA. Licensed by Viscopy

Rauschenberg has suggested that his choice of cardboard as a material was the result of his wish ‘to work in a material of waste and softness’. The Cardbird series is a tongue-in-cheek visual joke. It is in fact a printed mimic of cardboard constructions. The labour intensive process remains invisible to the viewer – the artist created a prototype cardboard construction which was then photographed and the image transferred to a lithographic press and printed before a final lamination onto cardboard backing. By choosing the most mundane of materials, Rauschenberg once again succeeds in a glamorous make-over of the most ordinary. The Cardbird series is an exploration of a new order of materials, a radical scrambling of the material hierarchy of Modernism.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra