View of Robert Rauschenberg’s Untitled [glossy black painting] before second coat of black paint

Related to Untitled [glossy black painting], ca. 1951

View of Robert Rauschenberg’s Untitled [glossy black painting] before second coat of black paint

Related to Untitled [glossy black painting], ca. 1951

Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled [glossy black painting], ca. 1951. Leo Castelli Gallery Records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Photo: Rudy Burckhardt; © Estate of Rudy Burckhardt / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Pictured artwork © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Research Material
Archival Image

This early photograph shows Untitled [glossy black painting] (ca. 1951) before Rauschenberg applied a second layer of black paint to it in the 1970s. As this image suggests, the surface of the painting was originally more matte than
it appears today. In addition to making the work glossier, the second coat of paint slightly compressed some of the raised curls of paper on the work’s left side.

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