United States of America 1925 – 2008



publisher (organisation)

Cardbird V 1971 Description: Cardbird series - a set of 8 prints

Collection Title: the 'Cardbird' series, 1971
Title Notes: 005-006
Place made: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Materials & Technique: prints, planographic, stencil, collage corrugated cardboard, tape, steel staples, photo offset and screen printing Impression: right to print
Edition: edition of 75, plus 6 artist's proofs; right to print; printer's proof II; 3 Gemini impressions; special proof; cancellation proof
Publisher: GEMINI G.E.L.
Place Published: Los Angeles
Date Published: 1971

Edition Notes: Collaboration, processing and proofing by Kenneth Tyler. Printed by Richard Ewen, Jeffrey Wasserman assisted by Bob Marks, Jeffrey Sanders. Collage print with corrugated cardboard, tape, steel staples, photo offset lithograph, and screenprint, assembled as follows: five colour offset printing was laminated to corrugated cardboard; cardboard insert was collaged; one colour screenprint on cardboard collaged was collaged; one colour screenprint on cardboard was collaged; one colour screenprint on cardboard insert was collaged; reinforced sealing and Kraft tape was collaged; steel staples were affixed; clear matte acrylic polymer coating was applied.
Primary Insc: verso: signed lower centre in black ink "RAUSCHENBERG"; inscribed lower centre in black ink "RTP 71"; embossed in blue ink "© COPYRIGHT 1971 GEMINI GEL RR 71- 2020"; blue adhesive attached with storage instructions
Dimensions: cardboard 87.2 h x 103.0 w cm
Cat Raisonné: Gemini GEL catalogue raisonne, no.307
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 73.1173.5
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