WORDS APPEARING IN A DREAM BY WILLIAM BURROUGHS. Robert RAUSCHENBERG.
WORDS APPEARING IN A DREAM BY WILLIAM BURROUGHS.

308.

WORDS APPEARING IN A DREAM BY WILLIAM BURROUGHS.

(NY): Automation House/Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), 1972. Six-colour offset lithograph, printed on canvas textured rag paper in an edition of 150 copies, dated, numbered and SIGNED by the artist (this one #4). 86x58cm.


The work originated from environmentalist Theodore Kheel instigating an E.A.T. co-ordinated project in which Rauschenberg and seven more artists were asked to create prints commenting on the importance of public transportation versus the use of private cars and the unfettered growth of interstate highways (E.A.T. was launched in 1967 by the engineers Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer and artists Rauschenberg and Robert Whitman with the intention to promote collaborations between artists and engineers and expand the artist's role in social developments related to new technologies). The works were printed in the magazine LithOpinion, published by the Local One Amalgamated Lithographers of America union, to accompany articles by Kheel, Senator Edward Kennedy and writer Ben Kelley in a section entitled "Our National Transportation Mess".


Robert Mattison later wrote about Rauschenberg's work in a book published for Burroughs' exhibition at the Jacobson Howard Gallery that opened a month before his death: "The artist…visited Beat writer William Burroughs and discussed the project with him. Burroughs told Rauschenberg of a dream in which the words 'they did not fully understand the technique/in a very short time they nearly wrecked the planet' had appeared to him. For Rauschenberg, Burroughs' dream captured the difference between good intentions and knowledgeable execution… While Rauschenberg's collage method is highlighted by the hand-torn fragments, they were all very carefully chosen. In addition, each letter of Burroughs' phrase, featuring a different color and visual pattern, was laboriously hand-cut and attached to the original work. The final piece is handmade using a great deal of care and technique. By analogy, the sure technique of Burroughs' Dream embodies the notion that expertise will be required to solve our environmental dilemma" (Your Turn Last Turn: Robert Rauschenberg and the Environmental Crisis. NY: Jacobson Howard Gallery, 2008, pp.11-12.).


The congruity between Burroughs' cut-up technique and Rauschenberg's studio practices were demonstrated a few years later in the series of lithographs, 'American Pewter with Burroughs' (1981), for which Burroughs again provided the text.


A short (1.5cm.), barely noticeable repaired tear to right edge, o/w Near Fine.

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