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Details of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (verso) showing fading of fabric

Related to Collection, 1954/1955

Composite of two details showing fading of fabric on verso of Robert Rauschenbergs Collection (1954/1955). SFMOMA Conservation Department files

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Artwork Detail

Rauschenberg covered each of the three canvas panels that compose Collection with a layer of brightly colored fabric. Over time, the fabric on the front of the work has aged and faded through exposure to light. These small sections of blue and yellow fabric visible on the back of the work convey the colors’ original vibrancy. The red fabric, which covers the right panel (as seen from the back), has changed most dramatically, as reds are particularly prone to fading. The red fabric on the front has faded to a light pink, and even the protected areas on the back are now a dark pink. In 2013, a small bracket was removed from the edge of the work, revealing an area of bold scarlet. Protected from the effects of light, its hue is much closer to the original red.

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