“I enjoyed the fact that I didn’t know what my materials would be from day to day and there was a real adventure about just knowing that you need something in order to make something out of and just looking around and seeing what there was. . . My interest wasn’t so much in rubbish as it was in—in just availability.”
Competing images on television inspired a new kind of text for Manuscript. Between 1962 and 1964, Rauschenberg created a series of works that combined silkscreen printing with painted passages. With a backdrop of rising tensions and US involvement in Vietnam, this work combines established symbols of power and patriotism—such as the bald eagle—with contemporary technology and news imagery. The expressive brushstrokes partly obscure but also animate the silkscreened photographs.
Image: Manuscript, 1963, Robert Rauschenberg, oil on canvas, 84 x 60 in., Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection, 91.99, © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.