Rauschenberg worked in a variety of media, including print, assemblage, and performance, often juxtaposing seemingly unrelated objects drawn from everyday life. To create this print, he collaged an unexpected assortment of images, including a photographic reproduction of a painting by the eighteenth-century Venetian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, at bottom right, and of a baseball player, seen on the left, culled from an old printing plate discarded by the New York Times. The images are connected by painterly swaths of printer ink, reminiscent of the gestural brushstrokes of Abstract Expressionism. Rauschenberg produced his composition on a lithographic stone, which cracked during the printing process. Rather than abandon the broken stone, he embraced the chance happening by printing the lithograph with the fracture. In addition, he placed the chips of the broken stone at the base of the crack, rendering the defect a central feature of the print.
William S. Lieberman; Donor: William S. Lieberman (American, Paris 1923–2005 New York)Donor: Estate of William S. Lieberman
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paper Chase: Two Decades of Collecting Drawings and Prints," December 9, 2014–March 16, 2015.