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Contemporary art

Western art

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Robert Rauschenberg

United States of America

22 Oct 1925 - 12 May 2008


In 1970 Rauschenberg moved from New York to Captiva Island in Florida. Here he set out to break with his formerly urban themes, but rather than becoming interested in the natural materials in his new environment, he began to make use of commonplace cardboard boxes. Rauschenberg usually flattened out the boxes, revealing the structural elements of their original form. Occasionally colour was applied and different boxes assembled into one piece. Boxes are associated with transport and movement, as well as past function and trade. They also carry the evidence of a simple geometric logic of folding, including crosses and, sometimes – as with Rauschenberg’s 'Cardbird' series – bird-like forms.




Media categories

Assemblage , Sculpture

Materials used

cardboard on plywood


254.0 x 158.0 x 41.0 cm

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection 2010. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number


Artist information

Robert Rauschenberg

Works in the collection


Shown in 5 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 8 publications


Wayne Tunnicliffe', John Kaldor family collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Robert Rauschenberg', pg.44-61, Sydney, 2011, 47, 50-51 (colour illus.). illustration on page 50 is a detail

Journey to now: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Adelaide, 2003, 21 (colour illus.), 61. illustration on page 21 is an installation view

Robert Rauschenberg: cardboards and related pieces, Houston, 2007, 95 (illus.). cat.21, not exhibited, illustrated in the catalogue

From Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Jeff Koons: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Sydney, 1995, 58 (illus.), 86.

Rauschenberg: art and life, New York, 1990, 185.

Robert Rauschenberg, London, 1981.

Robert Rauschenberg: werke 1950-1980, Berlin, 1980.

Rauschenberg, Saint-Etienne, 1974.