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Art exhibit to feature Rauschenberg’s art created after arriving on Captiva

By Staff | Feb 17, 2016

An art exhibition, which will examine the relationship between a student and teacher, will be explored later this month, all while showcasing Bob Rauschenberg’s cardboard box sculptures created after moving to Captiva.

The new exhibit “Rauschenberg & Albers: Box vs. Square” will grace the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery beginning Feb. 26 with an opening reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The reception will include performances by internationally-acclaimed electro-acoustic violist Martha Mooke and Rauschenberg’s band Sonic Combine.

Florida Southwestern State College Bob Rauschenberg Gallery Director Jade Dellinger said the exhibit will essentially include pictures on the wall and some sculptural objects.

“Since my arrival, a big part of my goal has been to bring Bob back in the gallery,” he said of Rauschenberg.

Last year, he put together an exhibit that showcased Rauschenberg’s global impact, specifically focusing on China.

“I wanted to communicate with the local community that he was someone who changed the world with his work,” Dellinger said.

The next exhibit touches upon the relationships between a student and a teacher, which is told through Rauschenberg and Josef Albers.

“Albers was sort of a major figure in 20th century modern art,” he explained. “He had been one of the founding folks on the faculty of the Bauhaus and came to the United States and became one of the most influential professors at Black Mountain College.”

Rauschenberg was in France thinking that he needed further instruction with his then wife, who was also an artist, which turned into attending Black Mountain College. Dellinger said Black Mountain College was the “hot bed of creativity” drawing many extraordinary people.

He said Rauschenberg always said that Albers was his most influential teacher as Albers said Rauschenberg was the poorest student.

“I like the idea of investigating the student, teacher relationship,” Dellinger said about the exhibit, especially since the gallery sits within the FSW campus. “No one has ever to my knowledge done a two person exhibition that focused on Rauschenberg and Albers. It’s the first of any in the world. It’s an interesting opportunity to see the work of Rauschenberg and Albers in person.”

Albers primary focus as a teacher, he said, seemed to be about “color in context.”

“Essentially what Albers would say is if you look at a particular color against another color, that particular color could potentially look completely different if put in another context,” Dellinger explained.

As part of the exhibition, the gallery will be transformed into a classroom to include students from FSW’s art theory class. He said the students will be given an extraordinary opportunity with hands-on access with white glove treatment to some of the original material and art produced by Albers. The students will also have access to “Interaction of Colors,” Albers textbook.

The larger theme of the exhibition is how Rauschenberg took Albers ideas, articulated them and expanded them in his own work.

When Rauschenberg lived in New York he would allow himself to walk around the block once, but no more than two times looking for source material, inspiration and items people left behind for his artwork. When he purchased property on Captiva he soon found out there was not a lot of garbage laying around to form art.

“Soon thereafter he got interested in using cardboard boxes, throw away material he had access to,” Dellinger said.

The exhibit will showcase Rauschenberg’s first body of work once moving to Florida, the Made in Tampa series.

“Much to my surprise and knowledge, I don’t think his first body of work had ever been shown here,” he said.

The gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, visit www.RauschenbergGallery.com, or call (239) 489-9313. .