Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Robert Rauschenberg and a Few Local Delights to Put On Your Calendar

"The artist's job is to be a witness to his time in history." 
~Robert Rauschenberg

Rauschenberg piece in Allentown
A Rauschenberg quote seems suitable on this 22nd day of October. Had he not passed in 2008 he would have been 88 today. Rauschenberg's work was influential to me when I was a young artist. Like many others, he loved being part of the New York scene, having once said, "I think that even today, New York still has more of this unexpected quality around every corner than any place else. It's something quite extraordinary." Probably an understatement.

What I remember him for is the edgy, outside-the-canvas assemblages that he called "Combines." His goat with a tire around its waist is probably the most memorable image of that time. His collages or pictures made using photostencil screen printing processes energized me as a young art student. His work preceded the Pop Art scene and became part of it, evolving into the Happenings and multi-disciplinary "anything is possible" art extremes.

In 1964 he became the first American to win the Grand Prize at the Venice Bienale. Afterwards he became increasingly involved in collaborations.

Rauschenberg's work for me symbolizes that period in modern art history where the public had lost its ability to comprehend what was going on in the art scene. It was difficult for many to take the work seriously. Somehow when I saw the cardboard piece at the top of the page, simple as it is, there is more design to it than you think and it's not a joke, as some would surmise. As soon as I saw it in the Allentown Museum of Art I knew who had done it.

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Lots of events going on this week in the Twin Ports. Tonight's Blood Memoirs opening at the Tweed is one that's been on my calendar for quite some time. The opening is at 4:00 or 5:00 or 7:00 depending on what source you get your information from. Curator Amber-Dawn Bear Robe will be making a presentation at 6:00 p.m. in Montague Hall at UMD that you won't want to miss.  

Wednesday evening Tweed Museum of Art is presenting the Chris Eyre film "Skins" in conjunction with the Blood Memoirs exhibition. Chris Eyre is an internationally recognized film director who will be on hand to introduce the film, again in Montague Hall. His film “Smoke Signals” won the Sundance Audience Award and Sundance Filmmakers Trophy. “Skins” is an inspirational tale about two brothers living on the Pine Ridge Reservation and the struggles they face individually, and as part of the community.

ALSO Wednesday, Episode 3 of the Twin Ports Live Radio Soap Opera will be performing at the Belknap Lounge in Superior.  6:00 p.m. sharp. Be there or be made fun of.

Finally, on Friday, the 2013 Goin' Postal Fall Art Show will be happening. I have a number of new works on the wall there are again, and am personally hoping you will come so I can share them with you. The location is 816 Tower Avenue in Superior next to the railroad tracks. Just follow the traffic.... Opening is from 6-9 with an afterparty at the Thirsty Pagan. Thanks for coming out... We will keep you warm.

Meantime, art goes on all around you. Engage it.

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