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Detail of second panel of Robert Rauschenberg's Autobiography

Related to Autobiography, 1968

Robert Rauschenberg, Autobiography, 1968 (detail)

Research Material
Artwork Detail

The spiral of text on the central panel of Autobiography (1968) resembles a fingerprint and offers an abbreviated history of Rauschenberg’s life and artistic career. At the heart of the text, a red box anchored by a downward arrow frames a transferred photograph of the artist as a child boating with his parents, Dora and Ernest Rauschenberg, near Port Arthur, Texas. Within the text, the arrow connects the words “Family” and “It was a rich exchange,” linking a reference to the most significant relationships of his childhood with one from adulthood—his close friendship with composer John Cage (1912–1992).

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