Erased and Obscured

About

Two-dimensional artworks that include areas of erasure, or where the artist has obscured or covered over parts of the composition to create the image. One of the most famous examples of erasure in modern and contemporary art history is Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953). To make the work, Rauschenberg asked Willem de Kooning—an artist he greatly respected—for a drawing, which he then proceeded to erase and then frame, mat, and title with the help of his friend Jasper Johns. Such a work was a humorous, ambitious act by the young artist, and it questioned the identity and authorship of the art object, as well as testifying to the pervasive influence of Marcel Duchamp.