Artwork Detail

Details of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled [black painting with portal form] showing newspaper clippings

Part of Rauschenberg Research Project

  • Details of Robert Rauschenbergs <em>Untitled</em> [black painting with portal form] showing newspaper clippings

    Composite of two details showing newspaper clippings in Robert Rauschenberg’s Untitled [black painting with portal form] (1952–53)

  • Details of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled [black painting with portal form] showing newspaper clippings

    Composite of two details showing newspaper clippings in Robert Rauschenberg’s Untitled [black painting with portal form] (1952–53)

  • Detail of a clipping in Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled [black painting with portal form] alongside article

    Composite showing a detail of a clipping embedded in the surface of Robert Rauschenberg’s Untitled [black painting with portal form] (1952–53) alongside the original New York Times article

  • Installation view of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled [black painting with portal form], Larry Gagosian Gallery, New York, 1986

    Installation view of Robert Rauschenberg’s Untitled [black painting with portal form] (1952–53) in Rauschenberg: The White and Black Paintings 1949–1952, Larry Gagosian Gallery, New York, April 18–May 31, 1986

  • Installation view A of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled [black painting with portal form], SFMOMA, 1999

    Installation view of Untitled [black painting with portal form] (1952–53) in Robert Rauschenberg, SFMOMA, May 7–September 7, 1999

  • Installation view B of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled [black painting with portal form], SFMOMA, 1999

    Installation view of Robert Rauschenberg’s Untitled [black painting with portal form] (1952–53) in Robert Rauschenberg, SFMOMA, May 7–September 7, 1999

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled [black painting with portal form] showing variety of paint

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled [black painting with portal form], 1952–53 (detail)

  • View of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled [black painting with portal form] showing alternate orientation

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled [black painting with portal form], 1952–53 (alternate orientation)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled [black painting with portal form] cracks and spidering

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled [black painting with portal form], 1952–53 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled [black painting with portal form] showing nailed canvas

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled [black painting with portal form], 1952–53 (detail)

  • Untitled [black painting with portal form]

    Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled [black painting with portal form], Mon Oct 08 00:00:00 PST 1951; oil, enamel, and newspaper on canvas, 51 1/8 in. x 54 1/4 in. (129.86 cm x 137.8 cm); Promised gift of an anonymous donor; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; photo: Ben Blackwell


Embedded in the surface of Untitled [black painting with portal form] is a sheet of newspaper printed with the foreign exchange rates for Monday, October 8, 1951, various news stories, and advertisements, one of which is clearly dated October 9, 1951. Although it is possible that Rauschenberg was working with clippings scavenged from old newspapers, these dates may indicate that he began the painting in fall 1951, some months earlier than reflected in the current date of the artwork. Additional information about the dating of the Black paintings may be found in the essays on Untitled [black painting with portal form] and Untitled [glossy black painting].