Rauschenberg’s Most Ambitious Artwork Soon in Beijing
Thirty-one years after his groundbreaking exhibition in Beijing, Robert Rauschenberg’s work is returning to the Chinese capital. “Rauschenberg in China” will be on view in UCCA’s Great Hall from 12 June to 21 August 2016, the exhibition centers on Robert Rauschenberg’s (1925-2008) magnum opus The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece (1981–98), its 190 parts stretching approximately 305 meters and exhibited for the first time since 2000.
Organised by Susan Davidson and David White, the UCCA show also features some of Rauschenberg’s Studies for Chinese Summerhall (1983). These colour photographs taken on a Hasselblad camera during his summer 1982 visit to the country, captured rare glimpses of China’s early transition and were used for this 30-meter scroll Chinese Summerhall (1982). The UCCA show also includes documentation and materials from that trip, which included a visit to a Xuan paper mill in Jingxian, Anhui province, as well as of the 1985 exhibitions and artists’ recollections of their impact.
Rauschenberg’s exhibition titled Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange China was the first officially-sanctioned art show by a US artist following China’s opening and reform. Held at the China Art Gallery, now the National Art Museum of China, the show drew more than 300,000 visitors over three weeks in late 1985, a period of intense foment of new art and culture in China, including the ‘85 New Wave movement. The exhibition subsequently traveled to the Tibet Revolutionary Hall in Lhasa.