Robert RAUSCHENBERG, Sky garden Enlarge 1 /1


United States of America 1925 – 2008

Sky garden 1969
Collection Title: the 'Stoned moon' series, 1969-70
Title Notes: 003-017
Place made: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Materials & Technique: prints, planographic, stencil lithograph and screenprint, printed in six colours from one stone, four aluminium plates and one screen Support: Special Arjomari paper
Impression: colour trial proof
Edition: edition of 35 plus 6 artist's proofs; 2 trial proofs; right to print; printer's proof II; 3 Gemini impressions; 15 colour trial proofs; special proof; 6 work proofs; cancellation proof; Robert Rauschenberg Foundation impression; National Council on the Arts impression
Publisher: GEMINI G.E.L.
Place Published: Los Angeles
Date Published: 1970

Edition Notes: Collaboration, processing and proofing by Kenneth Tyler. Printed by Charles Ritt, Kenneth Tyler, assisted by Ronald Adams, Stuart Henderson, Timothy Isham, Ronald McPherson, Robert Petersen, Andrew Vlady. Six colour lithograph, with screen print, printed as follows: red (stone), yellow, magenta, blue, vermillion (plates), white (screen). 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.
Primary Insc: signed and dated lower centre, pencil 'RAUSCHENBERG 69' inscribed lower right, pencil '5/6 3C/CTP'
Secondary Insc: inscribed lower right, pencil 'FOR KEN TYLER' embossed lower right corner, Gemini chop and copyright symbol
Tertiary Insc: inscribed, lower right, pencil '(6BLK PRINTINGS)' RR69-301
Dimensions: composition 226.2 h x 106.7 w cm
Cat Raisonné: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, (1970), 74.
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 73.945
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