From Currents

Robert Rauschenberg's Surface From Currents, created in 1970, is an impactful series of screenprints that echo the pervasive media culture and societal tensions of its era. These artworks, marked by their large scale and the use of newsprint as a primary medium, demonstrate Rauschenberg's continued interest in blending current events with high art, showcasing his innovative approach to printmaking.

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Meaning & Analysis

Robert Rauschenberg’s Surface From Currents is a vivid representation of the social and political climate of the early 1970s, using the medium of screen printing to incorporate elements of contemporary newspaper articles directly into the fabric of his art. This series is characterised by its bold, graphic aesthetic, which layers text and imagery to create complex visual narratives that reflect the chaos and complexity of the world news.

Each piece within the series is a large-scale print that combines clippings from daily newspapers, arranged in a seemingly haphazard manner but carefully composed to create a dialogue between the elements. This method allows Rauschenberg to capture a snapshot of global events, highlighting themes such as political unrest, cultural shifts, and technological advances. The use of newspapers not only serves as a commentary on the temporality and ephemerality of news but also critiques the overwhelming nature of media saturation in modern society.

The Surface From Currents stands out in Rauschenberg's work for its raw, unfiltered engagement with the public discourse, pushing the boundaries of what constitutes art material and how art interacts with everyday life. This series not only demonstrates his technical skill with screen printing but also his ability to transform everyday materials into profound artistic statements.

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