United States of America 1925 – 2008


Mule 1974 Description: Mule (from Hoarfrost editions)

Collection Title: Hoarfrost editions
Creation Notes: Period of Collaboration: September - December 1974 Right to Print date: 1 December 1974
Materials & Technique: prints, planographic, stencil, collage offset lithographic and newspaper images transferred to a collage of fabric and paper bags Support: cheesecloth, muslin, silk, satin
Impression: artist proof IV
Edition: edition of 33 plus 10 artist's proofs, 9 trial proofs, 1 colour trial proof, 1 right to print, 1 printer's proof, 1 printer's proof II, 3 Gemini impressions, 3 special proofs, 1 master proof, 1 Change Inc. proof
Publisher: GEMINI G.E.L.
Place Published: Los Angeles
Date Published: 1974

Edition Notes: Offset printed beaker image transferred to a paper bag; paper bags glued to cheesecloth with acrylic polymer matte medium; newspaper imagery transferred to cheesecloth and muslin; cheesecloth glued to muslin with acylic polymer matte medium. Offset printed tennis shoe image transferred to cheesecloth over paper bag; offset printed octopus image transferred to satin; satin glued to muslin with acrylic polymer matte medium. The two holes at the top right and top left were machine-stitched to accommodate nails for hanging. Collaboration and supervision by Ronald McPherson. Processing and proofing Dan Freeman and Tim Isham. Printing by Dan Freeman assisted by Robert Bigelow, Jim Webb, Ed Hamilton, Tony Zapeda.
Primary Insc: signed, lower centre, black ink 'Rauschenberg' dated, lower centre, black ink ' '74'
Secondary Insc: inscribed, lower centre, black ink 'AP IV'
Tertiary Insc: RR 74-687
Dimensions: overall 168.0 h x 88.3 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1976
Accession No: NGA 76.1512
Image rights: © Robert Rauschenberg/VAGA. Licensed by Viscopy
  • The Hoarfrost editions series, created at Gemini GEL, is named after the thin layer of ice that forms on cold surfaces. The series was inspired by  Rauschenberg’s observation of printmakers using ‘large sheets of gauze ... to wipe stones and presses ... and hung about the room to dry’. By using transparent layerings of material, Rauschenberg allows the viewer to both look at and look through the work − to see both the positive space and the negative space, including the environment behind the work. Everyday objects, such as collaged paper bags, are in sophisticated contrast with the ghostly imprinted imagery and the folds and layers of the delicate fabric.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra