Robert Rauschenberg, ‘Storyline III’, 1968, Rago

Paired with Jasper Johns

American icon Robert Rauschenberg’s Storyline III from “The Reels (B+C)” series was inspired by Arthur Penn’s groundbreaking 1967 film on the life and careers of American outlaws, Bonnie & Clyde. The artist appropriated film stills for the imagery in the artwork, exploring themes such as the defiance of authority and the glamorization of violence. The movie’s depiction of sexuality and brutality was unprecedented in American cinema, and Rauschenberg’s artistic appropriation serves as a commentary on the American experience. Rauschenberg’s work is collected globally by numerous prominent institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Tate, London, among many more.


Series: Reels (B+C)

Signature: Signed, dated and numbered

Publisher: Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles

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