Robert Rauschenberg (digital)

Letter from Robert Rauschenberg to Betty Parsons about his White Paintings, from Black Mountain College, Ashville, NC, postmarked October 18, 1951

Dear Betty, 

I have since putting on shoes sobered up from summer puberty and moonlit smells. Ave felt that my head and heart move though something quite different than to hot dust the earth threw at me. The results are a group of paintings that I consider almost an emergency. They bear the contriditions that deserves them a place with other outstanding paintings and yet they are not Art because they take you to a place in painting art has not been. (Therefore it is) that is the pulse and movement the truth of the lies in our peculiar preoccupation. They are large white (1 white as 1 GOD) canvases organized and selected with experiences of time and presented with the suspense, excitement, and body of an organic silence, the restriction and freedom of absence, the plastic fullness of nothing, the point a circle begins to ends. They are a natural response to the current pressures of the faithless and a promoter of intuitional optimism. It is completely irrelevant that I am making them - Today is their creater. (…) Love Bob (…) 

Archives of American Art, Washington, D.C., Accession #87-037, quoted in Mary Lynn Kotz, Rauschenberg: Art and Life, rev. and expanded ed., Harry N. Abrams, New York, 2004, p. 78. Spelling from the original.


Digital exhibition:

Robert Rauschenberg
White Painting [seven panel], 1951
House paint on canvas
72 x 125 x 1 1/2 inches; overall (182.9 x 317.5 x 3.8 cm)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
RRF Registration# 51.002

Flyer for the exhibition Rauschenberg: Paintings and Sculpture; Cy Twombly: Paintings
and Drawings at Stable Gallery, New York. Robert Rauschenberg papers.
Robert Rauschenberg
© Foundation Archives, New York. Creator: Stable Gallery, 1953.

Robert Rauschenberg with "White Painting [seven panel]" (1951) and two untitled
Elemental Sculptures (both 1953) at the "Rauschenberg: Paintings and Sculpture" exhibition,
Stable Gallery. Photograph Collection.
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Archives, New York.
Photo: Allan Grant, 1953.


Additional information about the artist