Robert Rauschenberg
Night Shades and Phantoms
Robert Rauschenberg
Thaddaeus Ropac / Apr 13 – Jul 31, 2021
London, UK

Robert Rauschenberg’s Night Shades and Phantoms are two series of metal paintings from 1991, composed of silk-screened photographic images and gestural strokes on aluminium supports. Made during his decade-long experimentations with metal, these paintings are characterized by their grayscale palette, which ranges from the Night Shades’ painterly chiaroscuro to the Phantoms’ mirrored surfaces and ethereal translucency.

Rauschenberg creates dream-like imagery which appears and disappears as a result of light, shadows and reflections across the artworks’ surfaces. The works respond to their surroundings, playing with the viewer’s perception and bringing the world into the paintings, recalling Rauschenberg’s famous maxim: ‘Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made. (I try to act in the gap between the two.)’ Organized in collaboration with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the exhibition will also present a selection of photographs by the artist used as source images for the paintings on view.

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