Artwork Detail

Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (1973) showing a collaged bag and string-tie closure

Part of Rauschenberg Research Project

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenbergs <em>Untitled</em> (1973) showing a collaged bag and string-tie closure

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, 1973 (detail)

  • Installation view of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (1973), SFMOMA, 1999

    Installation view of Untitled (1973) in Robert Rauschenberg, SFMOMA, May 7–September 7, 1999

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (1973) showing a collaged bag and string-tie closure

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, 1973 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (1973) showing central fold

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, 1973 (detail)

  • Untitled

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 PST 2013; acrylic, graphite, paper bags, and envelopes on paper, 72 in. x 60 in. (182.88 cm x 152.4 cm); Gift of the Frederick Weisman Company; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; photo: Ben Blackwell


Untitled (1973) is one of many works by Rauschenberg to include quotidian materials such as envelopes and other paper products. This detail shows a small string closure—detached from an office envelope to be used as part of this composition—pressed onto a flattened paper bag. Rauschenberg’s process included folding the partially finished work in half and running it through a press. This resulted in mirror-image imprints of the collaged elements that were revealed when the work was unfolded. Here, the embossed silhouette just to the left of the tie closure records the impression of a small envelope that is affixed to the opposite edge of the artwork.