Robert Rauschenberg Cardboards and Related Pieces Josef Helfenstein, Yve-Alain Bois, Clare Elliott

Menil Collection
Publication date:
09 Feb 2007
160 pages: 305 x 229 x 21mm
120b&w illustrations, 40 colour illustrations

Robert Rauschenberg (b. 1925) began to investigate the boundaries between painting and sculpture in the 1950s, working with a variety of found objects in his Combine paintings and freestanding Combines. Later, in his "Cardboard" series (1971-72), he confined himself to the use of cardboard boxes, eliminating virtually all imagery, reducing the palette to a near monochrome, and commenting in subtle ways on the materialism and disposability of modern life. This book is the first to focus exclusively on Rauschenberg's rarely seen Cardboards, along with related works from his "Made in Tampa Clay", "Cardbirds", "Egyptian", and "Venetian" series. Approximately eighty-eight Cardboards and related sculptural pieces, many from the artist's personal collection, are reproduced in the book. Full provenance and exhibition history is provided for each work, along with a complete bibliography. In addition, distinguished scholars Yve-Alain Bois and Josef Helfenstein offer insightful essays in which they discuss the Cardboards and situate these lesser-known but critical pieces within the context of Rauschenberg's long and creative career.

Yve-Alain Bois is professor, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey. Josef Helfenstein is director of The Menil Collection, Houston.