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