Artwork Detail

Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (ca. 1955) showing red pigment under the layer of gray paint

Part of Rauschenberg Research Project

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenbergs <em>Untitled</em> (ca. 1955) showing red pigment under the layer of gray paint

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, ca. 1955 (detail)

  • Early view of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (ca. 1955)

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled (ca. 1955), photographed ca. 1958. Dorothy C. Miller Papers, I.15.1. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York; © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, New York

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (ca. 1955) showing newspaper fragment

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, ca. 1955 (detail)

  • View of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (ca. 1955, verso) showing box construction

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, ca. 1955 (verso)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (ca. 1955, verso) showing Rauschenberg studio registry number

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, ca. 1955 (detail of verso)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (ca. 1955) showing red pigment under the layer of gray paint

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, ca. 1955 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (ca. 1955, verso) showing pink fabric

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, ca. 1955 (detail of verso)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (ca. 1955) showing tide table

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, ca. 1955 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (ca. 1955) showing photo of men

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, ca. 1955 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (ca. 1955) showing red paint beneath sweatshirt

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, ca. 1955 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled (ca. 1955) showing collaged layers

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, ca. 1955 (detail)

  • Untitled

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, Sat Jan 02 00:00:00 PST 2010; oil, paper, fabric, and newspaper on canvas with string, nail, funnel, and wood, 31 1/2 in. x 25 1/8 in. x 9 in. (80.01 cm x 63.82 cm x 22.86 cm); Purchase through a gift of Phyllis Wattis; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY


The hints of vivid red visible through fissures in the gray paint in this photo of the lower left corner of Untitled (ca. 1955) reveal the presence of an underlying painting. Rauschenberg frequently reused canvases and other materials, particularly in the 1950s, when he was short on resources. Untitled (ca. 1955) is painted on top of an unidentified work from Rauschenberg’s Red Paintings, a series of monochromatic works with heavily collaged, painted surfaces that he created in 1953 and 1954. Rauschenberg transformed the original painting into Untitled (ca. 1955) by adding new collage elements to some areas of the composition and covering others with gray paint.