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1961 Robert Rauschenberg Born: Port Arthur, Texas 1925 Died: Captiva Island, Florida 2008 oil, wood, graphite, fabric, metal, and rubber on canvas 85 1/2 x 62 1/2 x 15 1/2 in. (217.2 x 158.7 x 39.4 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. 1969.47.70 Smithsonian American Art Museum
3rd Floor, North Wing

Artwork Description

Robert Rauschenberg was one of the Beat Generation of artists, writers, and musicians who attacked the barriers between art and life. In Reservoir, a length of wood, two clocks, and a couple of cast-off wheels reach out from the painted surface into the viewer's space. These elements represent both the randomness and order that Rauschenberg saw in everyday life. The arrangement of objects and thick, splashy brushstrokes represent his split-second decisions, and the two clocks record when he started the work and the moment he considered it finished.

Smithsonian American Art Museum: Commemorative Guide. Nashville, TN: Beckon Books, 2015.



Allegory - time



paint - oil

pencil - graphite


fabric - canvas