Robert RAUSCHENBERG, Booster Enlarge 1 /1


United States of America 1925 – 2008


Booster 1967
Collection Title: the 'Booster and 7 studies' series 1967
Title Notes: 001-009
Place made: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Materials & Technique: prints, planographic, stencil colour lithograph, screenprint printed from two stones, two aluminium plates and one screen Support: machine-made, Curtis Rag 100 % cotton paper
Impression: right to print
Edition: edition of 38, plus 12 artist's proofs; 9 trial proofs; right to print; printer's proof II; 2 Gemini impressions; cancellation proof
Publisher: GEMINI G.E.L.
Place Published: Los Angeles
Date Published: 1967

Edition Notes: Collaboration, processing, proofing and printing by Kenneth Tyler. Five colour lithograph and screeprint, printed as follows: black (stone), black (stone), transparent white (aluminum), blue (screen), (screen) The figure in this image is derived from X-ray phtographs of Rauschenberg himself. A photographic contact print was created from each X-ray and from these a halftone negative was made. This was transferred onto photo-sensitive lithographic plates. Impressions from the plates were taken on transfer paper and put onto two lithographic stones. Rauschenberg also worked directly on the stones with tusche and crayon at this point. The stones were then printed in two seperate runs. At the time of its creation, 'Booster' was the largest lithograph printed on a hand operated lithographic press. (Minneapolis Institute of Arts, (1970), 47.
Primary Insc: signed lower right, "Rauschenberg"
Tertiary Insc: RR67-106
Dimensions: sheet 183.0 h x 89.0 w cm
Cat Raisonné: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, (1970), 47.
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 73.927
Image rights: © Robert Rauschenberg/VAGA. Licensed by Viscopy

One of Rauschenberg’s most successful collaborations was with the Gemini GEL print workshop – a printmaking partnership that permanently changed the terrain of American printmaking. Printer Kenneth Tyler was a masterful facilitator for Rauschenberg’s ambitious project and their collaboration radically altered the possibilities of printmaking by combining lithography and screenprinting in a new type of ‘hybrid’ print. The rules governing the size of lithographic printmaking were ignored, and at the time of its creation, Booster stood as the largest and most technically sophisticated print ever produced. Today, Booster remains one of the most significant prints of the 20th century, a watershed that catapulted printmaking into a new era of experimentation.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra