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Robert Rauschenberg
Wedding (Waterworks)
vegetable dye transfer on paper (lithograph)
Image: 31 1/2 × 47 1/2 inches (80 × 120.7 cm)Framed: 38 1/4 × 54 1/8 × 2 inches (97.2 × 137.5 × 5.1 cm)
Credit Line
Kirk Varnedoe Collection, Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, Gift of Robert Rauschenberg.
Accession Number
Robert Rauschenberg was born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1925. He undertook extensive formal art training at the Kansas City Art Institute; the Académie Julian, Paris; Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina; and the Art Students League of New York. Rauschenberg’s early work was notable for its inclusion of unusual objects, including newsprint, pieces of wood, fabric, nails, and other small objects. He took the use of non-traditional materials even further with his three-dimensional “Combines.” Neither painting nor sculpture, these works featured unexpected items as varied as an old tire, a stuffed goat, and the artist’s own bed quilt.

In 1963, Rauschenberg began working with silkscreen, a media that had traditionally been associated with commercial rather than artistic use. He combined found images with images from his own photographs and used the silkscreen process to transfer the images to a canvas, achieving an often jumbled, collage-like result. Rauschenberg continues this arranging of images of everyday objects in unlikely combinations today. Wedding (Waterworks), in the Varnedoe Collection, unexpectedly combines an image of an old, dilapidated Jeep with an image of a window curtained by feminine, floral draperies, forcing viewers to search for meaning in the implied relationship between these seemingly unrelated objects.