In 1999, Menil Collection curator Walter Hopps and SFMOMA Director David A. Ross interviewed Rauschenberg in the SFMOMA galleries during an exhibition featuring fourteen major works by the artist that the museum had recently acquired. Hopps had organized the 1976 and 1998 retrospectives of Rauschenberg’s work. In this excerpt from the video footage Rauschenberg describes Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953) as one of his “icons of eccentricities,” and identifies it as an important touchstone for his later works. He also tells the story of approaching Willem de Kooning (with a bottle of Jack Daniels) to ask for a drawing to erase. Rauschenberg repeated this story frequently throughout his life. Gary Garrels, then SFMOMA’s chief curator, and Peter Samis, then associate curator of education, also participate in the interview. A transcript of the full interview is available on the Related Information page. A transcript of this excerpt is available below.
Robert Rauschenberg discusses Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953) at SFMOMA, May 6, 1999. Video edited by Richard Robertson, 2012
Total running time: 14 min. 12 sec.