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DIALOGUE Sept/Oct. 84
RR 84
Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art
Rauschenberg/Performance 
7 September - 8 October

Complementing the New Dance/New Vision Series, the Center will present a documentary exhibition in Robert Rauschenberg's work in the theatre. Rauschenberg/Performance was organized and curated by Nina Sundell and the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art produced by a 40 page catalogue for the exhibition. After leaving Cleveland the exhibition will travel to the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina, Norton Gallery and School of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida and The University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach. It has previously been seen at The Copper Union, New York, N.Y. and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas. 

Many major artists such as Picasso, Braque and Cocteau have been occasional guest designers for the stage; fewer have worked regularly and professionally in the theatre. Robert Rauschenberg may be the only one who was for some years a performer and choreographer as well.

Because Rauschenberg is one of the two or three most influential artists of the mid-twentieth century, we think of him only as a painter. Yet, from 1954 to 1965, the period when his combines and silkscreen paintings were revolutionizing contemporary art, Rauschenberg shared with Merce Cunningham and John Cage in the transformation of modern dance. From 1954 to 1964, he designed twenty dances for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, acting as its stage manager and lighting director from 1961 and 1965. He also worked with Paul Taylor for several years collaborating on some of his most radical dances. From 1962 to 1965, as a participant in the iconoclastic Judson Dance Company he shared in the early development of post-modern dance. Between 1963 and 1967, he created nine theatre pieces of his own, works which constitute a significant contribution to the history of artists' theatre. Recently he has provided the visual elements for two dances of Trisha Brown (Glacial Decoy, 1979 and Set and Reset, 1983). 

Rauschenberg considers his work for the stage to be integral part of his entire oeuvre, Not only does it employ similar materials, but identical images often appear; there is an extraordinary iconographic continuity to all his productions. 

[[image]]
Robert Rauschenberg, costume design incorporating cage with three live doves from Map Room II, 1965, Deborah Hay dancing. Photo: Peter Moore.

The exhibition Rauschenberg/Performance brings together for the first time material documenting this little known and important aspect of the career of a major American artist. In addition to some 87 photo-panels it includes costumes and numerous props used in these performances, including a telephone book and bedsprings which are wired for sound and may be activated by a visitor. Probably the most visually arresting object in the exhibition is a twelve foot long rolling chicken coop which was shared in the 1966 performance of Linoleum by dancer Steve Paxton and several live chickens. 

Nina Sundell's essay in the exhibition catalogue provides a lively description of some of the performances, and the exhibition includes a video tape of Linoleum, as well as casette scores of two theatre pieces.

The presentation of Rauschenberg/Performance in Cleveland and the publication of the catalogue were made possible by a grant from The Cleveland Foundation. Additional support for the catalogue was provided by the Norton Gallery and School of Art and for the exhibition by the Ohio Arts Council.

Concurrently with Rauschenberg/Performance will be an exhibition of The Gardens at Giverny: A View of Monet's World by Stephen Shore - a beautiful, lush portfolio of photographs from a series of prints on Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny, France. 

In 1883, the painter Claude Monet acquired a house in Giverny, a small village along the Seine, 40 miles from Paris. Monet planned and cultivated his gardens and his now-famous lily pond with a vision that was inspiration for Monet's work for almost forty years. After Monet's death in 1926, the gardens gradually deteriorated. It was not until 1977 that restoration began under the auspices of the Institut de France. The gardens were restored resplendently and fairthfully to Monet's vision.

New Dance/
New Vision

25 September - 13 October

Over the past eight years, the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art's acclaimed Fall Lecture Series has explored the pervasive influence of the visual artist on man's aesthetic pursuits. For the past two years, in particular, the topic has been the impact of today's art on the design of objects that man surrounds himself with. Earlier (1979), seven noted photographers shared their views and visions, and five years ago, six nationally renowned architects and an architectural critic discussed the manifestations of Post-Modernism in their metier. 

This year's Series New Dance/New Vision focuses on direct collaboration rather than on influence. CHoosing as an example the working together of a choreographer, a composer and a visual artist,

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