Robert Rauschenberg, ‘GRATEFUL DEAD: A BENEFIT PERFORMANCE FOR THE RAINFOREST (Limited Edition, Signed) ’, 1988, Alpha 137 Gallery
Robert Rauschenberg, ‘GRATEFUL DEAD: A BENEFIT PERFORMANCE FOR THE RAINFOREST (Limited Edition, Signed) ’, 1988, Alpha 137 Gallery
Robert Rauschenberg, ‘GRATEFUL DEAD: A BENEFIT PERFORMANCE FOR THE RAINFOREST (Limited Edition, Signed) ’, 1988, Alpha 137 Gallery
Robert Rauschenberg, ‘GRATEFUL DEAD: A BENEFIT PERFORMANCE FOR THE RAINFOREST (Limited Edition, Signed) ’, 1988, Alpha 137 Gallery

NOT to be confused with the unsigned poster of the same image - the present lithograph is a pencil signed and numbered limited edition. This work was originally created in 1988 as a fundraiser for the Rainforest, and many of them were given to donors, VIPs and Grateful Dead band members. Held at Madison Square Garden on September 24, 1988, the first Rainforest Benefit Concert was organized by the Grateful Dead, and also featured Suzanne Vega and Bruce Hornsby and the Range. The contemporary artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925 to 2008) designed this limited edition lithograph commemorating the event. It measures 27" x 40" and incorporates a reference to the Dead in the skull at the bottom. The teaming of Robert Rauschenberg and The Grateful Dead seems a little fitting. Both the group and the artist have had a long history of controversy. Rauschenberg was well-known in the 1950s for his "Combines", the mixture of painted art and sculpture. He would collect trash off of New York City streets and use it in his work. He also dabbled in printmaking and photography, using some of the same techniques of Andy Warhol. In this special pencil signed and numbered limited edition offset lithograph (NOT to be confused with the concert poster) for the Grateful Dead's 1988 Madison Square Garden concert "A Benefit Performance For The Rainforest", Rauschenberg silk screened a skull and chains over his painting of an abstract forest. (A recognizable technique, as Rauschenberg would often would take photographs and then do a silk screen.) At the bottom center of this poster, the artist has signed, in pencil, and signified the piece's limited edition status as well as the date "88." Framed and ready to hang; fine condition.

If you are a fan of the Grateful Dead, as well as the great American artist Robert Rauschenberg, this is a fantastic piece of fine art - makes a great gift too!

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Signature: Signed and numbered from the edition of 250 and dated 1988 bottom front (recto). Published by Styria Studio, Inc. New York, NY

Publisher: Styria Studio, Inc. New York

About Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg’s enthusiasm for popular culture and, with his contemporary Jasper Johns, his rejection of the angst and seriousness of the Abstract Expressionists led him to search for a new way of painting. A prolific innovator of techniques and mediums, he used unconventional art materials ranging from dirt and house paint to umbrellas and car tires. In the early 1950s, Rauschenberg was already gaining a reputation as the art world’s enfant terrible with works such as Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953), for which he requested a drawing (as well as permission) from Willem de Kooning, and proceeded to rub away the image until only ghostly marks remained on the paper. By 1954, Rauschenberg completed his first three-dimensional collage paintings—he called them Combines—in which he incorporated discarded materials and mundane objects to explore the intersection of art and life. “I think a picture is more like the real world when it’s made out of the real world,” he said. In 1964 he became the first American to win the International Grand Prize in Painting at the Venice Biennale. The 1/4 Mile or Two Furlong Piece (1981–98), a cumulative artwork, embodies his spirit of eclecticism, comprising a retrospective overview of his many discrete periods, including painting, fabric collage, sculptural components made from cardboard and scrap metal, as well as a variety of image transfer and printing methods.

American, 1925-2008, Port Arthur, Texas, based in New York and Captiva Island, Florida