Bed by Robert Rauschenberg (1955)

Bed - Robert Rauschenberg - 1955

Artwork Information

TitleBed
ArtistRobert Rauschenberg
Date1955
MediumMixed Media
Dimensions191.1 x 80 x 20.3 cm
Art MovementNeo-Dada
Current LocationMuseum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, NY, US

About Bed

The artwork “Bed” by Robert Rauschenberg, created in 1955, is an exemplar of the Neo-Dada art movement and is rendered in mixed media. This piece features dimensions of 191.1 cm in height, 80 cm in width, and 20.3 cm in depth. Currently housed within the esteemed collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, the artwork stands as a significant contribution to modern art, challenging conventional boundaries and definitions.

“Bed” is notable for its incorporation of a quilted bedspread, pillow, and sheet, combined with applications of paint. The quilt positions itself as the foundational layer of the piece, revealing a patterned arrangement of rectangles and lines in muted tones interspersed with vibrant hues of red and blue. Upon this fabric canvas, the upper region is heavily worked with thick brushstrokes, drips, and splatters of paint in a gestural manner, indicative of abstract expressionism.

In dislocating the bedspread from its usual context and recontextualizing it as an art surface, Rauschenberg interrogates the interplay between the realms of art and the everyday object. The frenetic energy conveyed by the non-figurative paint applications contrasts with the domestic regularity and comfort suggested by the bedding, creating a dialogue that resists easy interpretation.

Both as a visual tableau and conceptual inquiry, “Bed” exemplifies the Neo-Dada movement’s penchant for subverting art historical traditions, incorporating found objects, and merging life with art.

(Note: The description provided synthesizes the given information with an interpretation of the artwork’s visual characteristics and conceptual significance.)

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