Skip to main content
ad info

CNN.com  arts & style > artmore art stories >>
  Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback

 

  Search
 
 

 
ARTS & STYLE
TOP STORIES

Ceramist Adler adds furniture to his creations

Paul Oxborough's modern paintings have Old Master's grace

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

Greenspan changes stance, says tax cut may help U.S. economy

Barak rules out imminent peace deal

Power-starved California seeking suppliers

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


Robert Rauschenberg  

Rauschenberg's collaborative artwork unveiled at Whitney

June 27, 2000
Web posted at: 6:27 p.m. EDT (2227 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The Whitney Museum of American Art rolled out a major new work Tuesday by artist Robert Rauschenberg, who had a little help from his friends in putting it together.

At a media preview, the Whitney unveiled "Synapsis Shuffle," 52 panels painted by Rauschenberg and arranged by 12 people of his choosing, many of them celebrities. The art can be seen by the public starting Thursday and will be on display until October 8.

  RESOURCES
 
 
  AUDIO
TEST

Marla Prather, the Whitney's curator for postwar art, says the interchangeable panels work in any combination

192K AIFF or
WAV sound
TEST

Hear Artist Robert Rauschenberg describe his work

224K AIFF or
WAV sound
 

"My responsibility," Rauschenberg told reporters, "was to make a dictionary of images people could speak their own language in." The work goes on public view Thursday and will be on display until October 8.

Each painting is a 9-foot-tall panel filled with images -- digitally transferred photographs brushed over with acrylic paint. The number of panels, 52, was inspired by the number of cards in a deck.

Among the collaborators were rock singer David Byrne, celebrity homemaker Martha Stewart, broadcaster Mike Wallace, choreographer Merce Cunningham, painter Chuck Close, Hollywood agent Mike Ovitz, opera singer Renee Fleming and AIDS researcher Mathilde Krim.

"Everybody thought I was being elitist," Rauschenberg said. "I wanted the best, to get variety."

The group met in a Queens warehouse last month to select and haggle over their panels. Each participant assembled between three and seven of them.

Cunningham chose his by rolling the dice. Krim didn't like her middle panel, so she turned it backwards. Fleming was the only one who turned the panels sideways, resembling lines of sheet music.

The Whitney owns the work -- it was purchased for the museum by board chairman and art collector Leonard Lauder. The museum plans to let "Synapsis Shuffle" tour nationally and internationally, and be reassembled each time.

The artist's work has 52 panels that were arranged by 12 celebrities  

"When I first saw the work, I walked into Bob's studio and saw 52 individual panels," said Marla Prather, the Whitney's curator for postwar art. "And then this magic takes place when you start putting the panels together, because no matter what the combination is, they seemlessly adjoin one another."

The 75-year-old Rauschenberg is famous for integrating painting and scultpure, and for defining a style that bridged Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. But never before has his work been so portable.

"I always have searched for a point of view that a participant could change," Rauschenberg said.



RELATED SITES:
Whitney Museum of American Art
Artcyclopedia: Robert Rauschenberg
Robert Rauschenberg


Note: Pages will open in a new browser window

External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
 Search   


Back to the top  © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.