Abigail Slupecki
Oct 15, 2014 3:49AM

 Robert Rauschenberg was a fearless and influential modern artist, whose work encompassed a variety of mediums, styles and subjects. One of the most significant historical subjects to influence Rauschenberg was the 1969 moon landing and a visit to NASA, for which he created a series of thirty-four lithographs titled Stoned Moon. This is the foundation of our exhibition.

 In July of 1969, Rauschenberg was invited by NASA to tour the Cape Canaveral facilities and witness the Apollo 11 launch. He had unrestricted access, along with several other artists, as part of the NASA Art Program’s commission to document, in art form, its missions and successes. The resulting series, Stoned Moon, juxtaposes imagery of the local Florida wildlife and landscape against the industrial and futuristic imagery of the space race.

 Since 1969 and the space race that preceded it, our culture has embraced the idea of humans in space, and outer space itself, and has become accustomed to this notion in everyday life. Space travel is a huge part of popular culture, and is depicted in all forms of media: from books to movies, to music and television. Younger generations have never known a time without it, and often don’t realize the incredible significance of what it took to become a reality. Our proposed exhibition seeks to remind its audience of this part of Rauschenberg’s world-changing time and space, and inspire them, just as Rauschenberg was inspired by it.

 As an actual witness to the time, Rauschenberg’s Stoned Moon pieces are the centerpiece of this proposed exhibition, which features a variety of works from 1969 through today. Inspired by the idea of space travel, the exhibition encompasses a varied selection of media and technique, from oil paintings and ink, to screen-print and sculpture. This exhibition captures the scale of the events and translates them to accommodate a new generation of captive audience.
Abigail Slupecki