Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, from the series "Study for Chinese Summerhall", 1983
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Graphicstudio, University of South Florida, Tampa/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022, Courtesy Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung, Photo: Nikolaus Steglich
22 MARCH – 18 OCTOBER 2019
Gestures are movements of the body that serve as nonverbal communication, small acts of mutual understanding and action. In the early 1980s, the American artist Robert Rauschenberg was one of the first Western artists to travel to China, hoping to send that kind of sign, a gesture of interest in a distant and foreign culture. Of the hundreds of color photographs he brought back from that trip, he selected twenty-eight motifs and published them under the title Studies for Chinese Summerhall (1983). These photographs can be read as recordings of gestures from daily life, both modern and traditional, in a transforming Chinese society.
Hassan Khan, The Knot, 2012 (Detail)
The exhibition presented Rauschenberg’s photo series alongside four glass installations by renowned international artists. They incorporate everyday functional objects, such as a knot or a circle, into their works and transform these primary gestures into an artistic object. This lends them a special presence and significance. For the artist and for the viewer, the point is, as Hassan Khan expresses it, to read, decipher, and understand these primary gestures.
With works by: