Robert RAUSCHENBERGGEMINI G.E.L., Cardbird I Enlarge 1 /1


United States of America 1925 – 2008



publisher (organisation)

Cardbird I 1971 Description: Cardbird I from Cardbird series - a set of 8 prints

Collection Title: the 'Cardbird' series, 1971
Title Notes: 005-002
Place made: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Materials & Technique: prints, stencil. planographic, collage photo-offset lithograph screenprint, collage Impression: right to print
Edition: edition of 75 plus 6AP, RTP, PPII, 3GEL, SP, C
Publisher: GEMINI G.E.L.
Place Published: Los Angeles
Date Published: 1971

Primary Insc: No inscriptions
Dimensions: cardboard 114.4 h x 76.5 w cm
Cat Raisonné: Gemini GEL catalogue raisonne,
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 73.1173.1
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