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Sky Garden (Stoned Moon)

Robert Rauschenberg

Sky Garden (Stoned Moon)

Robert Rauschenberg
  • Date: 1968
  • Style: Pop Art, Neo-Dada
  • Genre: figurative
  • Media: collage

While the space race was still in its infancy when Rauschenberg included astronauts in his 1964 silkscreen paintings, by 1969, space flight was a reality that inspired Rauschenberg, and many Americans, with the potential for collaboration between man and technology. In July of 1969, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) invited Rauschenberg to Cape Canaveral, Florida, to witness the launch of the momentous Apollo 11 mission and granted him unrestricted access to the grounds and facilities, allowing him to explore the facilities and meet with scientists as well as utilize official photographs and technical documents. The visit instilled a renewed sense of optimism in Rauschenberg, and regarding NASA's missions, he said, "The whole project seemed one of the only things at that time that was not concerned with war and destruction." His Stoned Moon series (1969-70) is a testament to that sense of hope, particularly poignant in the tumultuous context of the late 1960s, defined by civil rights movements and anti-war protests against the Vietnam War. To create the prints, Rauschenberg collaged transferred photographs supplied by NASA. He discovered in the early 1960s that if he soaked reproductions from magazines in lighter fluid he could transfer them on to paper by rubbing the back with a dry pen nib. The imagery juxtaposes the technology of the booster rocket in red with the natural surroundings of Cape Canaveral in blue and green, echoing the sensory overload experienced as one witnessed the Apollo 11 launch. Sky Garden is one of the largest lithographs in the series, at an astonishing 89 inches in height and was the largest hand-pulled lithograph ever created when it was printed in 1969.

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Court Métrage

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