Tracer is a significant silkscreened painting that Robert Rauschenberg created between 1963 and 1964. This artwork is part of a series of 79 silkscreened paintings by the artist. The piece is inspired by everyday visuals, such as photographs, newspapers, and magazines. Rauschenberg alludes to the Vietnam War in Tracer, which symbolizes his political stance.
Tracer marks a shift from gestural abstract painting and the model of the heroic artist championed by Abstract Expressionism. Rauschenberg’s innovative use of stenciling techniques for creating art popularized silkscreening in fine arts. His “Combines,” incorporating both two- and three-dimensional elements using non-traditional materials and objects, are among his most iconic pieces of work.
Tracer is currently displayed at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Any fan or student of modern art who visits this museum will have an opportunity to marvel at the complex layers that make up this striking piece by Robert Rauschenberg.