Retroactive I, created in 1963 by Robert Rauschenberg, is a silkscreen painting that belongs to a larger series he produced between 1962 and 1964. Recognized as a Pop artist, Rauschenberg utilized commercial means of reproduction to create these artworks with their subject matter being pulled from magazines and television. Retroactive I includes an image of John F. Kennedy who was greatly admired by the artist, but was made before his assassination.
The painting represents one of the finest examples of Rauschenberg’s silkscreen works and is composed of various images, scenes, and objects taken from media sources. This piece was created during an era marked by political instability in America when Pop art played a role in addressing current events.
Today, Retroactive I is still celebrated for its unique contributions to the American art scene during the twentieth century. Its importance lies not only in its aesthetic value but also because it reflects historical events relevant at that time. The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation honors the legacy of the late artist by supporting inclusive research and artists who embody his multidisciplinary approach to creativity and philanthropy.