Rauschenberg made artworks that bring together fine art with materials from the everyday world. His ‘combines’ incorporate elements such as magazine pages, photographs, scrap metal and objects from his studio, junk shops or the streets – all layered with paint. In the 1950s, these works changed American art, which at that time was heavily influenced by abstract expressionism. Deliberately messy and fragmented, the works seemed the antithesis of slick American postwar consumerism, while incorporating its mass-produced discards.
This is one of only two works that remain from a group exhibition of the same name at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, in 1962. An early example of installation art, the exhibition concept was to create an environment that engaged the senses and in which the viewer could get lost. This work – featuring arrows pointing in opposite directions – was made as a tongue-in-cheek emblem for the show. Although the exhibition was conceived as a collaboration, when that became unworkable, the artists ended up creating their own environments.
View Dylaby in the collection