An artist who I have briefly looked into in my studio practice is Rauschenberg, particularly his pieces made from cardboard. I decided to look at his wall structures made from cardboard when I began to collect and work onto pizza boxes.
The Cardboards are wall sculptures made from found cardboard boxes that have been cut, stapled, bent, and combined by the artist but retain their original history through stains, dents, and tears, in addition to inherent color and labeling. (Cardboard (1971-72)).
Rauschenberg’s cardboard structures are made from materials that he has found and he celebrates the fact that they are not perfect new pieces of cardboard. An example of this is that he names many of his pieces after the branding on the boxes he has used.
Rauschenberg presents his cardboard structures on the wall and because they aren’t framed they then occupy a space from the shape that the cardboard put together creates. I have also been pinning my boxes onto the wall as I think it then takes them from everyday objects to acknowledging that they are pieces of art. I have also been experimenting with turning the pizza boxes inside out to get rid of the advertising on them completely. I have also done this in another way in print making by printing multiple layers on top of the box to mask as much of the advertising as possible. I have made sure not to change the shape of the pizza boxes too much where possible so the original structure is still there. I have also kept any stains in the pizza boxes there and worked on top of them which also links to Rauschenberg’s pieces. I didn’t want to use perfect new boxes as the work wouldn’t then link to the theme of the everyday as well. I also like how the boxes I was documenting my life through, by drawing and writing, were done on the exact pizza boxes I had eaten a pizza out of that day.
Another area of Rauschenbergs artwork I have found interesting is his ‘Combines’. These are pieces again made from found materials. I am interested in the way he presents them on walls and I have been doing similar in my own practice with some signs I have been making through print making.
Collection (1954/1955) is the artist’s first “Combine painting,” an early type of Combine that hangs on the wall like a traditional painting but reaches into three dimensions with various elements attached to the work’s surface. (Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954-55).
I found these pieces from looking at the way he presents his work on walls. His combines are a combination of found materials and painting. With my printmaking I have been finding lots of materials which I can print my lettering onto by using the technique of screen printing, although I have also made a few with acrylic paint and various pens. These include planks of wood, cardboard, clothes and foam board. I plan to add more materials to this list in the near future. Today I have been experimenting with different ways I can present these. I tried a few combinations on the wall in the installation space. I came to the conclusion that the closer together my signs can be the better and I also like when I can overlap them. I need to think about how I am going to put these on the walls for my final degree show as balancing them on nails was not the most effective method but allowed me to have a vision of what my final show could potentially look like.
“Cardboard (1971–72)”. Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
“Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954/1955”. SFMOMA. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.