RAUSCHENBERG: China/America Mix

October 22, 2014 – January 24, 2015

Re-mixed and re-installed exhibition: January 2 – 24, 2015

Lecture by Dr. Donald Saff: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 6-7pm in the Rush Library Auditorium

Opening reception in the Gallery from 7-9pm (with Musical Performances by Dickie Landry, Kat Epple and Sonic Combine)

Florida SouthWestern State College and lead sponsor FineMark National Bank & Trust is delighted to announce the first solo exhibition of world renowned artist Robert Rauschenberg since his memorial at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery in 2008 and the first installation in more than a decade of his monumental 100 ft.-long Chinese Summerhall (1984) photograph. RAUSCHENBERG: China/America Mix is the artist’s sixteenth one-man show at the College (since the Gallery was founded in 1979) and celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Gallery’s renaming and dedication in his honor.

Widely-acknowledged as one of the most important artists of the 20th Century, Rauschenberg is credited with pioneering the transition from European modernism to American pop art and was a local Lee County resident for nearly four decades.  His effect still looms large around the globe, but this is particularly evident in China.  Inspired by his 1982 visit to Jing Xian and his work at the ancient Xuan Paper Mill on his 7 [Chinese] Characters collages (included in this exhibition), Rauschenberg returned to China in 1985 to mount his Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) exhibition at the National Gallery in Beijing.  Open to the public for less than three weeks, Rauschenberg’s ROCI/China show attracted more than 300,000 visitors and is still considered a seminal cultural event.  To this day, the most recognized Chinese artists acknowledge his great influence and broader impact in describing art in China “before… and after Rauschenberg.”

As the artist once noted, “ROCI [was] an attempt to create universal art, imbued with cultures of various peoples, in order to contribute to the cause of peace.”  “While photographing the environs,” according to Dr. Donald Saff, “a sense of China unfolded in the viewfinder of Rauschenberg’s Hasselblad.” He continued, “The enthusiasm of his working methodology was his diplomacy and his art was magic for the people’s spirit.”

The RAUSCHENBERG: China/America Mix exhibition will open to the public from 7-9pm on Bob Rauschenberg’s October 22nd birthday with musical performances by longtime friends Dickie Landry, Kat Epple and Sonic Combine.  A pre-opening lecture on “Rauschenberg in China” will be presented from 6-7pm by distinguished guest, Dr. Donald Saff (Founder of USF’s Graphicstudio and Artistic Director of Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange/ROCI).

More about us: The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery was founded as The Gallery of Fine Art in 1979 on the Lee County campus of Florida SouthWestern State College/FSW (then Edison Community College).  On June 4th 2004 the Gallery of Fine Art was renamed the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, to honor and commemorate our long time association and friendship with the artist.  Over more than three decades until his death, the Gallery worked closely with Rauschenberg to present world premiere exhibitions including multiple installations of the ¼ Mile or Two Furlong Piece.  The artist insisted on naming the space the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery (versus the “Robert Rauschenberg Gallery”) as it was consistent with the intimate, informal relationship he maintained with both our local Southwest Florida community and FSW.

These events are open to the public, free of charge.  The first-come, first-served seating for the 6 pm lecture is limited. 

Generously sponsored by

 FineMark Logo

With additional support from Stanton Storer Embrace the Arts Foundation

Special Thanks for providing Opening Night Chocolate Norman Love Confections

“‘RAUSCHENBERG: China/America Mix’ comes to Bob Rauschenberg Gallery October 22” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (September 25, 2014)

“‘RAUSCHENBERG: China/America Mix’ exhibit re-examines legacy of artist’s ROCI project and China visit” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (September 30, 2014)

“‘RAUSCHENBERG: China/America Mix’ first solo show of artist’s work at Rauschenberg Gallery since 2008 memorial’ from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (October 4, 2014)

“Bob Rauschenberg’s international outreach focus of new exhibition” in Florida Weekly (October 8, 2014)

“Jade Dellinger guests on WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live to discuss impending ‘RAUSCHENBERG: China/America Mix’ exhibition” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (October 15, 2014)

“Blindfolded water buffalo epitomized Rauschenberg’s reaction to insular lives led by Chinese in 1982” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (October 20, 2014)

“The making and exhibition history of Rauschenberg’s 100-foot-photo, ‘Chinese Summerhall’” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (October 21, 2014)

“Recalling how revolutionary and transcendent Bob Rauschenberg was on the 89th anniversary of his birth” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (October 22, 2014)

“Getting to know Bob Rauschenberg the artist and ambassador of peace through R.O.C.I. Artistic Director Donald Saff” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (October 24, 2014)

“‘China/America Mix’ exhibition offers greater understanding and appreciation of Rauschenberg’s R.O.C.I. legacy” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (October 26, 2014)

“How a bit of trickery led to inclusion of a political poster in the ‘Chinese Summerhall’ 100-foot photo” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (October 27, 2014)

“Rauschenberg’s legendary work ethic won over Chinese handlers during stopover outside Xuan paper mill in Jing Xian” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (October 28, 2014)

“Chinese cook’s story inspired Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (October 29, 2014)

“Fully committed, Bob Rauschenberg leveraged entire estate to finance R.O.C.I.” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (October 30, 2014)

“Rauschenberg’s influence on Chinese art nearly snuffed by government crackdown following Tiananmen Square demonstrations” from ArtSWFL.com by Tom Hall (November 7, 2014)

“‘Chinese Summerhall’ by Robert Rauschenberg” on usfcam.wordpress.com (November 9, 2014)

“Picturing New Directions” in Gulfshore Life by Janice T. Paine (January 2015)