Rauschenberg in China and the 'Yuanfen' of this summer blockbuster

By Nick Bedard ( ) Updated: 2016-06-13 15:25:39

Rauschenberg in China and the 'Yuanfen' of this summer blockbuster

Phil Tinari, UCCA director, guides a media tour explaining the 1/4 mile (2 furlong) piece.[Photo by Nick Bedard/]

“We hope that this exhibition will illustrate not only how Rauschenberg inspired China, but how China inspired him,” says Tinari.

Highlighting the Rauschenberg in China exhibition is the famed ¼ mile (or 2 Furlong piece), a 109 part 305-meter art piece that stretches across UCCA’s great hall. It’s the first time in about twenty years that Rauschenberg’s ¼ mile will be shown in full, and curatorial advisor to the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Susan Davidson, says it expresses the combination between art and life.

“I think that's one of the strongest points in Rauschenberg’s work in general. In the past, when it’s been show, people have been overwhelmed by the breath and materials, the imagery and inventiveness, and also the kind of domestic quality of the monumental work,” says Davidson.

“I am absolutely thrilled that this exhibition is here at the UCCA. It has been a dream for the foundation to bring Bob back to China. The enthusiasm that we saw before the the show was even open was very positive and that’s really rewarding.”

Rauschenberg in China’s main sponsor is Tiffany and Co. While Tiffany and Co. champion the jewelry industry, they have a distinct taste for art. In the mid-1950s, a young Robert Rauschenberg and friend Jasper Johns were hired by Tiffany and Co. to create window displays for their New York store. Ironic? Not to Tinari’s standards, it’s just another case of “Yuanfen”.

Over half a century later, Rauschenberg and Tiffany and Co. reunite in Beijing’s UCCA to bring forward what will certainly stand as another iconic footprint for the global art scene, Rauschenberg in China.

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