This view of the back of Collection shows the abutment of two of the work’s three panels and the wooden elements attached along the upper edge. Rauschenberg first stretched conventional raw canvas over the panels. He then covered each of them with a second layer of brightly colored fabric. Viewed from the front, left to right, the panels are covered in red, yellow, and blue fabrics, respectively.
Here the raw canvas that forms the foundation of each panel can be seen wrapped around and stapled to the stretcher bars. The blue and yellow fabrics, also visible at the joint in the wood framing, partially cover the canvas. The yellow and blue have been protected from exposure to light, and so are much brighter on the back of the piece than on the front. Rauschenberg wedged a wad of crumpled newspaper, which also is visible when the work is viewed from the front, between the canvas and the found wooden pieces that top the central panel.