Robert Rauschenbergs »Erased de Kooning Drawing« (1953) Modernismus, Literalismus, Postmodernismus

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Author: Gregor Stemmrich Graphic Design: Till Gathmann German 2023, 1072 Pages, 155 Ills. Paperback with flaps 244mm x 156mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-5502-3

Erased de Kooning Drawing is an artwork that radically challenged the very definition of art and questioned the notion of the artist as creator. Three American artists were involved in its creation: In 1953, Robert Rauschenberg erased a drawing by Willem de Kooning, who had somewhat reluctantly been giving his consent. Jasper Johns created a label for its first public presentation that proved to be key to the psychological framing of the piece. Having been transmuted into something new, the obliterated drawing was soon perceived as a pivotal moment in art history: In the 1950s it was considered Neo-Dada, in the 1960s it was hailed as the beginning of conceptual art, and in the 1980s saw it as a departure into postmodernism. Numerous artists referenced the work and it became a touchstone in Rauschenberg’s oeuvre. Gregor Stemmrich outlines its status as a litmus test for the definitions of modernism, literalism and postmodernism, and demonstrates its continuing relevance for the theory of the image and the question of appropriation.

This book is also available in English.

GREGOR STEMMRICH (*1953, Soest) is Professor of Art and Art History at NYU Abu Dhabi since 2015. His main focus is on modern and contemporary art. Previously, he was Professor at Freie Universität Berlin and Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden. He edited the interviews and writings of Lawrence Weiner as well as Dan Graham, and has published extensively on abstract, conceptual and minimal art.