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Remixed Rauschenberg exhibit open until Jan. 24

By Staff | Jan 13, 2015

The work of one of America’s great artists, who made Southwest Florida his home for the later part of his life, has been remixed and reinstalled and his available for viewing now.

RAUSCHENBERG: China/ America (re)Mix(ed), located in the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Florida SouthWestern State College will remain open until Jan. 24 with a fresh look from what it looked like in the fall.

For those who saw China/America Mix in 2014, this year’s edition will be a different experience, gallery director Jade Dellinger said.

“There hadn’t been a Rauschenberg show since his passing in 2008. Prior to that, he had 15 solo shows at the gallery,” Dellinger said. “For the anniversary of the renaming of the gallery, I’ve been pushing for an exhibition. Birthdays were special to Bob, so we opened on Oct. 22.”

Each of the exhibited pieces with the exception of Rauschenberg’s 100-foot-long seamless photograph named Chinese Summerhall have been reordered within the gallery.

This installation originally opened in Oct. 20 and was supposed to close on Dec. 17, however it was decided to keep it open for another month, according to McKenzie Cassidy, public relations associate.

The exhibit reopened Jan. 2, with a more spruced up look.

“They took everything down but the 100-foot photograph that twisted around the room and reinstalled it and added a few things,” Cassidy said. “It’s the same exhibit, but they updated it.”

“My thinking was to make something as if Bob had just left the room. That could only be done with his involvement,” Dellinger said. “That’s why we included the 100-foot photograph.

The exhibit marked Rauschenberg’s 16th one-man show at FSW since the gallery (then named The Gallery of Fine Art) was founded in 1979 and renamed in his honor in 2004. The exhibition serves to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the renaming.

It is his first solo exhibition since his memorial in 2008 and the first time in more than a decade that Chinese Summerhall has been on display.

Chinese Summerhall, created by Rauschenberg in 1984, is the focal point of the exhibit and at the time, was the most ambitious photograph ever, Dellinger said, and hadn’t been seen in public in more than 10 years.

“We are also showing 28 photographs called ‘The Studies of Chinese Summerhall,’ which are individual images, some of which get repeated in the photo collage,” Dellinger said.

Dellinger added that Rauschenberg was being influenced at the time by composer John Cage, who used to install his exhibitions using chance operations or I-Ching, the Chinese classic text which describes a symbol system used to identify order in chance events.

The exhibition was inspired by Rauschenberg’s visits to China in the 1980s where he completed work on a number of collages and mounted the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) exhibition at the National Gallery in Beijing. He was the first Western artist to have a solo exhibit there.

His ROCI/China show was open for less than three weeks and attracted more than 300,000 visitors.

“I really wanted to do a show that really talks about his global impact, and nowhere is that more evident than in China,” Dellinger said. “Many contemporary artists talk about China before and after Rauschenberg.”

FineMark National Bank & Trust in Fort Myers, a longtime supporter of FSW that has provided more than $100,000 in programs and scholarships, sponsored the show.

For more about the gallery or upcoming events, visit www.RauschenbergGallery.com or call 489-9313.