Locks Gallery is pleased to present the gallery’s second exhibition of works by Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008), on view February 7 through March 15, 2014. An opening reception will be held on Friday, February 7 from 5:30–7:30 pm. This exhibition is an introduction to a series of ongoing exhibitions at Locks Gallery focusing on Rauschenberg’s legacy in anticipation of a forthcoming catalog. As one of the most important postwar American artists, Rauschenberg’s work continues to provoke critical dialogue.
Artist and critic Brian O’Doherty coined the term “vernacular glance” in 1973 to describe Rauschenberg’s relationship to image culture. He amassed and repeatedly reproduced images from everyday life, making unusual juxtapositions and layerings. As our relationship to visual material continues to evolve through the internet’s ability to bring together disparate visual information, Rauschenberg’s approach to combining imagery still resonates.
In 1984 at the United Nations, Rauschenberg announced his plans for a project entitled ROCI (Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange), an artistic program that would encompass a nearly seven year, ten-country tour to encourage “world peace and understanding.” ROCI initiated projects in Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, China, Tibet, Japan, Cuba, the Soviet Union, Germany, and Malaysia along with ROCI USA works. Through this worldwide project he collected photographs and source materials for a unique body of work for each country, and bestowed artworks in cultural institutions in each nation and one in the National Gallery of Art that was made during his travels. The exhibition catalogs for each country’s project would include contributions by local poets, writers, or journalists. The global project culminated in a major survey of the works at the National Gallery of Art in 1991. Rauschenberg’s interest in a global exchange and making international cultural connections through the language of art was ahead of his time. Looking back,ROCI can be seen as a predecessor to the globalized art dialogue we celebrate today and is a crucial part of Rauschenberg’s legacy and vision.
On view will be a selection of major works and editioned pieces. This exhibition addresses Rauschenberg’s legacy through select works from ROCI alongside other mixed media works that represent his material experimentation and innovation.