Reservoir

images for Reservoir
Gallery Label
Reservoir is one of the hybrid works known as "Combines" that Robert Rauschenberg made between 1954 and 1964. Described by Rauschenberg's contemporary Jasper Johns as "painting playing the game of sculpture," the Combines incorporate both two- and three-dimensional elements, using objects Rauschenberg collected from the streets of his lower Manhattan neighborhood. Reservoir incorporates a length of wood, two clocks, and a couple of cast-off wheels to reflect on the always changing and surprising contrasts of everyday experience. The arrangement of objects and the thick, splashy brushstrokes represent his split-second decisions, and the two clocks precisely record when he started the work and the moment he considered it finished.
Publication Label
Robert Rauschenberg was one of the Beat Generation of artists, writers, and musicians who attacked the barriers between art and life. In Reservoir, a length of wood, two clocks, and a couple of cast-off wheels reach out from the painted surface into the viewer's space. These elements represent both the randomness and order that Rauschenberg saw in everyday life. The arrangement of objects and thick, splashy brushstrokes represent his split-second decisions, and the two clocks record when he started the work and the moment he considered it finished.
Smithsonian American Art Museum: Commemorative Guide. Nashville, TN: Beckon Books, 2015.
Topic
Abstract
Allegory\time
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Artist
Robert Rauschenberg, born Port Arthur, TX 1925-died Captiva Island, FL 2008
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
Medium
oil, wood, graphite, fabric, metal, and rubber on canvas
Dimensions
85 1/2 x 62 1/2 x 15 1/2 in. (217.2 x 158.7 x 39.4 cm.)
See more items in
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
1961
Type
Painting
Object number
1969.47.70