Artwork Detail

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

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  • Detail of Robert Rauschenbergs <em>Untitled</em> [black painting with portal form] showing nailed canvas

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

  • 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], Thu Jan 03 00:00:00 PST 2013; 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


In Untitled [black painting with portal form] the canvas does not wrap around its stretcher on all sides. This view shows a section of raw canvas attached to the top of the stretcher with a nail. When Rauschenberg began his Black paintings, he often hung them in doorways and windows while he worked. In keeping with this practice, Untitled [black painting with portal form] was likely nailed to its stretcher after it was completed. See figure 2 in the essay on Untitled [black painting with portal form] for a view of the painting in its early state.