Arts & Culture
Exhibit: Robert Rauschenberg: Pressing News
In late 1969, reeling from the world situation, his friends’ personal problems, and a studio fire, Robert Rauschenberg, the art world’s acknowledged enfant terrible, consulted an astrologer. He feared his own actions were responsible for the dire news. The astrologer advised the seashore. Fleeing New York to Malibu, California for respite, Rauschenberg planned to paint a large, calm watercolor. Instead, he made Currents.
The artist collaged together headlines, photographs, advertisements, and articles from eight national newspapers in January and February 1970. The collages served as studies for three series of screenprints that collectively formed Rauschenberg’s protest. He remarked, “I decided to communicate only through the newspapers, the hot news, the kind we forget as soon as we hear it.”
He hoped the minimal, direct imagery would “encourage individual conscience.” When the first exhibition of Currents opened at Dayton’s Gallery 12 in Minneapolis in April 1970, Rauschenberg included audio recordings of news broadcasts. The sounds and images in this gallery, while demonstrating the artist’s concern over his time and place, reveal a world uncannily like ours today.
Robert Rauschenberg: Pressing News is on display August 18 through Feb. 27, 2023.
The museum's gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The museum will also be closed on the following university holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.
Admission to the museum is complimentary, thanks to a donation made by The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department.