Trophy V (for Jasper Johns), Robert Rauschenberg


Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925 - 2008) 

Trophy V (for Jasper Johns), 1962 

Oil and found objects on canvas 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick R. Weisman in honor of James W. Foster, 1971 (4022.1) 

In the 1950s, Robert Rauschenberg pioneered the idea that painting should not be categorized as a purely two-dimensional art form, and he helped break the traditional boundaries between sculpture and painting by creating works that joined both, a form he called "Combines." Trophy V (for Jasper Johns) is an example of a Combine, composed of freely painted areas and three-dimensional objects either attached to or set into the canvas. By selecting elements from everyday life, Rauschenberg demonstrated that banal objects are worthy of aesthetic consideration. T

Trophy V (for Jasper Johns) is part of a group of five artworks dedicated to friends and collaborators which Rauschenberg created between 1959 and 1962. Avoiding many of the usual connotations of the term trophy, Rauschenberg described these works as expressions of gratitude. Unsurprisingly, the list of individuals honored by the Trophy series includes many people with whom Rauschenberg shared deep connections throughout his life: artist Marcel Duchamp and his wife, Teeny; artists Jasper Johns and Jean Tinguely; dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham; and composer John Cage. Trophy V (for Jasper Johns) includes a collaged map of the U.S. with the state of South Carolina outlined in graphite, a reference to the place where Johns spent his early life. 
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