Robert Rauschenberg, ‘Spackle (for Harvey Gantt)’, 1990, Alpha 137 Gallery
Robert Rauschenberg, ‘Spackle (for Harvey Gantt)’, 1990, Alpha 137 Gallery
Robert Rauschenberg, ‘Spackle (for Harvey Gantt)’, 1990, Alpha 137 Gallery

Robert Rauschenberg was very passionate about politics, and actively contributed his art, his creativity and his time to causes he cared deeply about. In 1990, many conservative politicians, led by right wing firebrand Jesse Helms of North Carolina, protested the ICA's Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition, and lobbied to de-fund the National Endowment for the Arts in the U.S. In response, many artists and liberals placed their hopes in a promising African American architect-turned politician Harvey Gantt who twice ran against Jesse Helms. The present Rauschenberg silkscreen "Spackle", was Rauschenberg's patriotic contribution to "The Harvey Gantt Portfolio", a collection of artists' prints created to raise funds for his Quixotic Senate campaign. Unfortunately, Harvey Gantt lost twice to Jesse Helms. What remains is this historic Rauschenberg print. This work is sold framed (see photos) and ready to hang; in fine condition. From the edition of 250.

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Signature: Signed, dated and numbered in graphite on the recto (front) from the edition of 250. Published by Gemini G.E.L at Joni Moisant Weyl in New York, with their blindstamps and ink stamp on the reverse

Publisher: Gemini Gel at Joni Moisant Weyl in 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