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Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Untitled [black painting with portal form] cracks and spidering

Related to Untitled [black painting with portal form], 1952–53

Research Material
Artwork Detail

This view of the upper left corner of Untitled [black painting with portal form] (taken while the work was oriented with the black portal shape on the right) shows a thin coat of black paint that Rauschenberg applied over a thick layer of white pigment and other areas of black paint of various sheens. As the top layer dried and contracted, cracks and areas of white spidering formed. This effect is sometimes created when a layer of paint is added on top of another layer that has not fully dried.

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