This essay reviews Jammers by the celebrated American artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), in an exhibition held at Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street London, from 16th February to 28th March 2013. The inspiration for the series came from a month in 1975 when the artist worked in an Ashram (textile factory) in Ahmedabad, India. He developed the loose fabric structures in New York, bringing reference to sails of crafts (Windjammers) and the sense of free natural movement.
Born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1925 Rauschenberg attended Academie Julien and Black Mountain College, where he studied under Josef Albers. He was associated with Jasper Johns and John Cage in the early 1950s, when he made the famous combines, assemblages of found objects, and created the white and the black paintings - presaging movements of Pop, Minimalist and Conceptual art of the following decades.
The monograph includes an essay by James Cahill in which he surveys some of the recorded interviews Rauschenberg gave, and considers the wider function of artists' statements.
An interview by Nicholas James with David White, long-time colleague and friend, now Chief Curator of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, recalls the artist and his work.