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Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's White Painting [three panel] showing texture of painted surface

Related to White Painting [three panel], 1951

Robert Rauschenberg, White Painting [three panel], 1951 (detail)

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Artwork Detail

In this conservation image, White Painting [three panel] has been lit to enhance the visibility of the brushwork. The fact that the paint has clearly been worked in two directions confirms that the most recent repainting, completed in 1998, was carried out with a brush, not a roller. Rauschenberg’s concept for the White Paintings dictated that the surfaces of the works should always be pristine when exhibited. The five pieces in the series were freshly repainted and even refabricated from scratch on several occasions, usually by friends, studio assistants, or conservators rather than the artist himself. White Painting [three panel] was fully repainted in 1998. For further discussion of the series’ history of repainting, see the essay on White Painting [three panel].

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