Exhibition

Robert Rauschenberg

Erasing the Rules

November 18, 2017—March 25, 2018

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From the 1940s until his passing in 2008, Rauschenberg worked with everything from photography to items scavenged from New York City streets to vats of bubbling mud. More than 150 of Rauschenberg’s artworks, including prints, sculptures, paintings, and Combines (works that incorporate painting and sculpture), will be on view in the retrospective Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules, celebrating the artist’s continual experimentation with materials and collaborative working processes. The exhibition demonstrates how, with razor-sharp humor and intelligence, Rauschenberg broke down boundaries between disciplines, anticipated many of the defining cultural and social issues of our time, and redefined what art could be for the generations of artists who followed.


Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules is organized by Tate Modern, London, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in association with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The San Francisco presentation is dedicated to the memory of Phyllis Wattis, whose vision and support provided the groundwork for the exhibition.

Global Tour Sponsor

Bank of America

Major support is provided by Carol and Lyman Casey, Doris Fisher, The Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, SFMOMA Collectors’ Forum, the Paul L. Wattis Foundation, the Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Traveling Exhibitions, and Carlie Wilmans.

Generous support is provided by the Gerson Bakar Foundation, Aurelia and Cadmus Balkanski, Penny S. and James G. Coulter, Roberta and Steve Denning, Dana and Bob Emery, James Hormel and Michael Nguyen, the Mary Jo and Dick Kovacevich Family, Christine and Pierre Lamond, Deborah and Kenneth Novack, the Bernard and Barbro Osher Exhibition Fund, the Prospect Creek Foundation, Chara Schreyer, Helen and Charles Schwab, Thomas W. Weisel and Janet Barnes, and Bobbie and Mike Wilsey.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Exhibition Preview


Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled (Double Rauschenberg), ca. 1950; Cy Twombly Foundation; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Robert Rauschenberg, Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1953; collection SFMOMA, purchase through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954/1955; collection SFMOMA, gift Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Robert Rauschenberg, Monogram, 1955–59; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, purchase 1965 with contribution from The Friends of Moderna Museet; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Robert Rauschenberg, Bed, 1955; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Leo Castelli in honor of Alfred H. Barr, Jr.; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Peter Moore, Photo of Rauschenberg performing his piece Pelican (1963), First New York Theater Rally, 1965; © Barbara Moore / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

Robert Rauschenberg, Persimmon, 1964; private collection; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Robert Rauschenberg, Mud Muse, 1968–71; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, gift of the New York Collection; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Robert Rauschenberg, Mirage (Jammer), 1975; Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Robert Rauschenberg, Port of Entry [Anagram (A Pun)], 1998; collection SFMOMA, purchase through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

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