Time + Ties

Acrylic on fabric laminated paper mounted on canvas
64 1/8 x 52 5/8 inches
Now on view: AC Hotel, Spartanburg, South Carolina

Having read about Josef Albers in Time magazine, Robert Rauschenberg followed Susan Weil, his future wife, to Black Mountain College in 1948. Yet his encounters with Josef Albers, the domineering head of the art curriculum, were fraught with tension. Albers heartily disapproved of the freewheeling young artist, whose personal and aesthetic demeanors were antithetical to the German master’s rigid formalism. Nevertheless, Rauschenberg learned much from Albers, especially in regard to color theory and the combination of different materials and textures, as exemplified in Time + Ties. By juxtaposing imagery drawn from various photographs, newspaper images, and other media, Rauschenberg unifies Time + Ties with animated brushwork, a strategy that amplifies the painting’s immediacy and recalls the rapid pace of today’s hurried world.