Rauschenberg ROCI Works Debut by Anke Van Wagenberg, Ph.D. Senior Curator, Academy Art Museum
The Academy Art Museum announces the opening of Robert Rauschenberg: ROCI Works from the National Gallery of Art. The exhibition will be on display through March 6, 2016. This is the first exhibition of ROCI artworks in Maryland. Robert Rauschenberg (1925– 2008), one of America’s most iconic 20th-century artists, was a painter and graphic artist whose early works anticipated the Pop Art movement. He is best known for his Combines of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations. The Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI, pronounced “Rocky,” the name of the artist’s pet turtle) began its international tour in 1985 to enable and support Rauschenberg’s collaborations with artisans and workshops abroad and to promote world peace and understanding. Over a six-year period, Rauschenberg created works in host countries all over the world to be included in exhibitions in each country and donated a work of art to each location. The various exhibition catalogues included contributions by local poets, writers and journalists.
Rob er t Rau s chenb e r g , Ba c h’ s Ro ck s, 1 9 9 0. Announced at the United Nations in December 1984, ROCI involved the artist making and presenting his work while traveling with a team of assistants through 11 countries, including China, Tibet, the U.S.S.R., and former East Germany, as a way to foster cross-cultural dialogue. Some works remained in their original sites as gifts, and others traveled with the ROCI team to be shared with future participants. Rauschenberg personally funded the project, which concluded with the exhibition Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange, com79