Artwork Detail

Detail of first panel of Robert Rauschenberg's Autobiography

Part of Rauschenberg Research Project

  • Detail of first panel of Robert Rauschenbergs <em>Autobiography</em>

    Robert Rauschenberg, Autobiography, 1968 (detail)

  • Installation view of Robert Rauschenberg's Autobiography, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, 1991

    Installation view of Robert Rauschenberg’s Autobiography (1968) in Robert Rauschenberg: Print Survey in Themes, 1952–1992, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, October 7–December 4, 1992. Photo: Dorothy Zeidman, courtesy the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

  • Detail of first panel of Robert Rauschenberg's Autobiography

    Robert Rauschenberg, Autobiography, 1968 (detail)

  • Detail of second panel of Robert Rauschenberg's Autobiography

    Robert Rauschenberg, Autobiography, 1968 (detail)

  • Detail of third panel of Robert Rauschenberg's Autobiography

    Robert Rauschenberg, Autobiography, 1968 (detail)

  • Autobiography

    Robert Rauschenberg, Autobiography, Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 PST 2012; offset lithograph, 198 3/4 in. x 48 3/4 in. (504.8 cm x 123.81 cm); Gift of Marion B. Javits, Robert Rauschenberg, and Milton Glaser;


Fittingly, the skeleton at the center of Autobiography’s first panel is based on an X-ray of the artist. Rauschenberg used a photographic process to transfer the X-ray to a lithographic stone for printing. He repurposed the image several times, including in the lithograph Booster (1967) and his kinetic multimedia series Revolver (1967). In Autobiography Rauschenberg chose to surround his skeleton with a chart for his astrological sign, Libra, and two other images that recurred frequently in his works—a bicycle tire and a photographer's strobe light umbrella. The latter form also appears in his silkscreen painting Scanning (1963).