United States of America 1925 – 2008

Earth crust 1969
Collection Title: the 'Stoned moon' series, 1969-70
Title Notes: 003-010
Materials & Technique: prints, planographic lithograph, printed in two colours from one stone Support: Arches Cover paper
Impression: right to print
Edition: edition of 42 plus 6AP, TP, RTP, PPII, 3GEL, SP, C
Publisher: GEMINI G.E.L.
Place Published: Los Angeles
Date Published: 1969

Edition Notes: Processing and proofing by Kenneth Tyler. Edition printing by Andrew Vlady assisted by Timothy Isham. A two color lithograph printed in tan and dark brown. The same stone was used for both printings. A chemical reversal of the image was made after the first printing (tan) to produce the dark brown printing. Rauschenberg was invited by NASA to observe the launch of Apollo 11 in July 1969. Gemini G.E.L commissioned the artist to do a series of prints based on his observations, a commission which resulted in the 'Stoned moon' series of 33 lithographs. Rauschenberg also made use of photographs and other materials supplied to him by James Dean of NASA.
Dimensions: comp 85.8 h x 60.6 w cm sheet (irregular) 86.2 h x 63.4 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 73.934
Image rights: © Robert Rauschenberg/VAGA. Licensed by Viscopy
  • In 1969 Rauschenberg was invited by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to witness one of the most significant social events of the decade − the launch of Apollo 11, the shuttle that would place man on the moon. NASA provided Rauschenberg with detailed scientific maps, charts and photographs of the launch, which formed the basis of the Stoned moon series − comprising thirty-three lithographs printed at Gemini GEL. The Stoned moon series is a celebration of man’s peaceful exploration of space as a ‘responsive, responsible collaboration between man and technology’.

    The combination of art and science is something that Rauschenberg continued to investigate throughout the 1960s in what he calls his ‘blowing fuses period’.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra