Robert RAUSCHENBERG, Page 1 Enlarge 1 /1


United States of America 1925 – 2008

Page 1 1974
Collection Title: the 'Pages and fuses' series 1973-74
Title Notes: 007-001
Place made: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Materials & Technique: prints, paperwork, pressed paper pulp with screenprinted fabric embedded Support: paper pulp
Manufacturer's Mark: no manufacturer's mark
Impression: right to print
Edition: edition of 27, plus 7 artist's proofs; right to print; 2 Gemini impressions; special proof
Publisher: GEMINI G.E.L.
Place Published: Los Angeles
Date Published: 1974

Edition Notes: Collaboration by Vera Freeman, Marius Peraudeau, Kenneth Tyler. The series 'Pages and Fuses' was created at the Moulin a Papier Richard de Bas in Ambert, France where paper has been made since the 14th century. This edition, Page 1, contains natural-fiber handmade paper and whole natural fiber rags. For each piece, the artist laminated a rag into wet paper pulp as he poured the pulp onto a wire mesh. No mold was used. The pulp was poured freehand, which resulted in each piece within the edition being unique in size, shape, and rag used. After formation, the pieces were pressed and left to dry naturally. Since the entire edition was completed by the artist without a mold, no cancellation exists.
Primary Insc: embossed lower left signature "Rauschenberg" Verso: dated lower right in pencil "74"
Secondary Insc: Verso: inscribed lower right in pencil "RTP"
Tertiary Insc: Verso: stamped lower right in grey ink copyright and Gemini GEL chops
Dimensions: sheet 38.0 h x 50.4 w cm
Cat Raisonné: Gemini GEL catalogue raisonne, no. 514
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1975
Accession No: NGA 75.604
Image rights: © Robert Rauschenberg/VAGA. Licensed by Viscopy

In 1973, on the recommendation of master printer Kenneth Tyler,  Rauschenberg began a collaborative project with the paper mill Richard de Bas in Ambert, France. The artist wanted to engaged with handmade paper as one of the most ancient of artistic traditions. The resulting series, Pages and fuses, is a group of paper pulp works. The Pages are formed from natural pulp and shaped into paper pieces that incorporate twine or scraps of fabric. In contrast, the Fuses are vivid pulp pieces dyed with bright pigments. This innovative experiment with paper pulp sparked a renewed interest in handmade paper, which inspired major paper works by artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, David Hockney and Helen Frankenthaler.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra