This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

5Sep/17

ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG: AMONG FRIENDS

“Mud Muse” is one of many collaborations in MoMA exhibit “Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends” (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

“Mud Muse” is one of many collaborations in MoMA exhibit “Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends” (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Through September 17
212-708-9400
www.moma.org

“Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends” is almost too much of a good thing, a massive MoMA retrospective of the interdisciplinary artist who died in 2008 at the age of eighty-two. The exhausting exhibition consists of more than 250 works, highlighting his collaborations while celebrating the vast nature of his practice. “Oh, I love collaborating, because art can be a really lonely business, if you’re really just working from your ego,” he says in an old interview on the audio guide. The show follows the Texas native from his Black Mountain College years through his time in Italy and North Africa, from his early combines and classical-influenced pieces to performances, silkscreens, objects, “Experiments in Art and Technology” (E.A.T.), and more. Many of his greatest hits are here, including “Bed,” “Monogram,” “Canyon,” “Gift for Apollo,” and his illustrations for Dante’s Inferno, alongside collaborations with Jasper Johns, John Cage, Jean Tinguely, Willem de Kooning, Susan Weil, Brice Marden, Sturtevant, Alex Hay, and more. Among the most unusual works is the bubbling “Mud Muse” created with Carl Adams, George Carr, Lewis Ellmore, Frank Lahaye, and Jim Wilkinson. And most entertaining is Rauschenberg’s involvement in the dance world, making sets for and even performing in pieces by Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown and Laurie Anderson, Harry Shunk and Janos Kender, and others, some filmed by Charles Atlas. The exhibition is supplemented with works by such Rauschenberg contemporaries as Aaron Siskind, Cy Twombly, Lucinda Childs, Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Robert Whitman. Meanwhile, the audio guide includes contributions from Yvonne Rainer, Calvin Tompkins, Weil, Marden, Brown, Virginia Dwan, Atlas, Julie Martin, and Rauschenberg’s son, Christopher. So how does one make sense of it all? MoMA is hosting a series of talks and performances to help sort everything out. The exhibition continues through September 17; the below “gallery experiences” are free with museum admission, with no advance RSVP required. (Only the September 12 “Dante Among Friends” performance requires paid ticketing.)

Peter Moore. Performance view of Robert Rauschenberg’s Pelican (1963), 1965. © Barbara Moore/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

Peter Moore, “Performance view of Robert Rauschenberg’s Pelican (1963),” 1965 (© Barbara Moore/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York)

Wednesday, September 6, 11:30 & 3:30
“Dance among Friends: Robert Rauschenberg’s Collaborations with Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham, and Paul Taylor,” featuring Changeling, Three Epitaphs, Tracer, You Can See Us, and excerpts from other works, Sculpture Garden

“Robert Rauschenberg’s Process,” with Lauren Kaplan

Wednesday, September 6, 11:30
Thursday, September 7, 1:30
Wednesday, September 13, 1:30
Thursday, September 14, 11:30 & 1:30

“No One Is an Island,” with Kerry Downey

Thursday, September 7, 1:30
“Rauschenberg Among Friends,” with Elisabeth Bardt-Pellerin

Saturday, September 9, 11:30
Sunday, September 17, 1:30

“100 Ways to Make a Picture,” with Petra Pankow

Sunday, September 10, 11:30
Monday, September 11, 11:30

“A Bit of This and That: Robert Rauschenberg’s Combines,” with Jane Royal

Tuesday, September 12
“Collaborators, Friends, Lovers,” with Tamara Kostianovsky, 11:30

“Dante among Friends,” with Robin Coste Lewis and Kevin Young responding in music and poetry to Rauschenberg’s Thirty-Four Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno, curated and hosted by Terrance McKnight, $5-$15, 7:00

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