Masterpiece Stories

Robert Rauschenberg, Automobile Tire Print

Zuzanna Stańska 17 December 2017 min Read

Automobile Tire Print is one of Robert Rauschenberg’s most intriguing collaborative efforts. In 1953, the artist directed composer John Cage to drive his Model A Ford in a straight line over twenty sheets of paper that Rauschenberg had glued together and laid in the road outside his Fulton Street studio in Lower Manhattan.

Yes, that is art! And it looks like this:

Robert Rauschenberg Automobile Tire Print Robert Rauschenberg, Automobile Tire Print, 1953, SFMOMA
Robert Rauschenberg, Automobile Tire Print, 1953, SFMOMA

Over the years, Automobile Tire Print has been interpreted as a monoprint, a drawing, a performance, a process piece, and a distinctive exploration of indexical mark making. But the truth is – this piece is perfectly indeterminate.

Like Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing, which was also created in fall 1953, Automobile Tire Print challenges traditional understandings of art and authorship.

What do you think about this piece, which now is nearly 65 years old?

Here you can watch Rauschenberg himself describing the process of creating Automobile Tire Print. Fascinating!

Get your daily dose of art

Click and follow us on Google News to stay updated all the time

Recommended

John Singer Sargent, Nonchaloir, 1911, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA. Detail. Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Nonchaloir (Repose) by John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent’s Nonchaloir (Repose) is a masterpiece of American Impressionism. It explores a poetic moment of aristocratic...

James W Singer 5 May 2024

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Ground Swell by Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper created his peaceful seascape masterpiece Ground Swell with hinted implications of social disengagement, emotional loneliness, and...

James W Singer 21 April 2024

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

During his stay in the Saint-Rémy hospital in southern France, Vincent van Gogh created The Starry Night. It became one of his most recognizable...

Valeria Kumekina 24 March 2024

Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, 1432, detail Masterpiece Stories

Ghent Altarpiece: The Charmed Life of the Mystic Lamb

Come with us to visit the Van Eyck brothers, their monumental Ghent Altarpiece, and explore 500 years of intrigue, theft and revolutionary painting techniques.

Candy Bedworth 21 March 2024