Drawing in the Daily News: Politics and Temporality in Robert Rauschenberg's Early Solvent Transfers

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This article offers the first sustained exploration of a group of transfer drawings made by Robert Rauschenberg in 1958, a crucial moment in the artist’s long and influential career. The discussion is grounded in the discovery of Rauschenberg’s newspaper source material, which is presented here for the first time. These discoveries point to striking yet undisclosed patterns of reference within the works, enabling new interpretations and richer patterns of connection to the historical moment of their production. Perhaps more importantly, however, they reveal in the drawings a striking temporal compression: every transfer in one drawing, for example, was made from newspapers published on one single day. This aligns the drawings not just with the legible content of the newspaper, then, but also with its temporal logic. The article explores Rauschenberg’s embrace of contingency here, his appeal to and subversion of reading habits proper to the daily papers, and the role of intermittence and fragmentation in the work, alongside his motivated engagement with particular political themes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Art
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Jul 2022


  • Rauschenberg
  • Drawing
  • Newspaper
  • Mass media
  • Krčma
  • Transfer
  • Nehru
  • American art
  • 1950s

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