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Rauschenberg, Robert (Artist); Hulten, Pontus & Sayag, Alain (Contributors). ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG PHOTOGRAPHS. New York City, NY: Pantheon Books, 1981. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 140 pages. Fine/Fine.

Retrospective collection of photographs. One of the greatest photography books of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with the softcover edition. An austerely elegant production by Robert Rauschenberg and The Sonnabend Gallery: Oversize-volume format. Pale gray hard boards with black titles embossed on spine, as issued. Photographs and Introduction by Robert Rauschenberg. Preface by Pontus Hulten. Interview with the artist by Alain Sayag. List of Plates appended at the end. Printed on thick coated stock paper in Paris, France to the highest standards. In pictorial DJ with black titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Originally published on the occasion of the exhibition, "Rauschenberg Photographe", held at the Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou in 1981. Presents the great artist's photographic work in its first retrospective. One of the least well-known facts about Rauschenberg is that he began his career as a photographer. Furthermore, he makes no distinction between his photography and his painting. He has said that he brings the same pair of eyes to both. The photographs, like the paintings, are rigorous, acute, and sensuous. His celebrated method of appropriating "found" images and objects to capture the fabric, tempo, and "feel" of modern life is photographically-inspired and characterizes his large body of work. The idea of appropriation is not unique to Rauschenberg. It is a central tenet of Surrealism, and continues to be the latter Movement's enduring legacy. What makes Rauschenberg's work unique is the way he has "set in motion an interplay of shapes in which the human form is integrated to a rigorous yet flamboyant sense of design, pictures in which art and real life coincide" (Pontus Hulten). The photographs are presented in two parts: The first is the Series taken between 1945 and 1946, in such places as Tangiers, Rome, New York, and North Carolina. The second consists of photographs taken between 1979 and 1980, in Captiva Island (where he lived) as well as Boston, Atlantic City, Baltimore, and Charleston. "A protean genius who showed America that all of life could be open to art. Rauschenberg didn't give a fig for consistency or curating his reputation; his taste was always facile, omnivorous, and hit-or-miss, yet he had a big-ness of soul and a richness of temperament that recalled Walt Whitman" (Robert Hughes). "Mine is the need to be where it will always never be the same again. Photography is the most direct communication of non-violent contacts" (Robert Rauschenberg). Robert Rauschenberg died on May 12, 2008 at the age of 82, joining Andy Warhol and leaving behind Jasper Johns as the sole surviving genius of the Pop Art Movement, the single most influential American art movement of the 20th century. A "must-have" title for Robert Rauschenberg collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Robert Rauschenberg. The signature brilliantly matches his facsimile signature on the DJ cover. This title has been out-of-print for more than twenty-five years and is now highly collectible. This is the only signed copy available online and is in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Unlike most copies available online, it is not remainder-marked and all of the internal pages are in pristine condition. According to dealers who knew him, Rauschenberg basically stopped signing books in the 1990's. Signed copies still available online are vintage, not recent, and very few. A rare signed copy thus. 122 duotone plates. One of the greatest artists of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0394520548. $1500.00

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