In Rauschenberg’s work the image is not about an object transformed. It is a matter, rather, of an object transferred. An object is taken out of the space of the world and embedded into the surface of the painting, never at the sacrifice of its density as material. Rather it insists that images themselves are a species of material. And this is true whether the image in question is a shirt or a sock which operates as the image of a shirt or a sock while all the time remaining that thing, or whether the image is a section of cultural space—a postcard bought at the Louvre or a photo clipped from a newspaper—which joins the work as a materialization of the culture from which it sprang.
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