Back to All Events

Robert Rauschenberg & Jasper Johns | Art History Lesson & Painting Party

  • Showfields 11 Bond Street New York, NY, 10001 United States (map)

Robert Rauschenberg & Jasper Johns - Art History Lesson and Painting Party

Learn about the techniques and history of artist duo Robert Rauschenberg & Jasper Johns - then make your own artworks inspired by their styles. There will be unique materials, surfaces, found objects and paints to work with, music filling the room and inspiration projected on the walls. All that's left is to create a masterpiece. Led by Guggenheim Conservator & NYU Teacher, Corey D’Augustine.

This event is hosted in collaboration with SHOWFIELDS in conjunction with Pride month as part of a wider program to celebrate the artistic and cultural contributions of the LGBT community.


Who Was Robert Rauschenberg ?

Working in a wide range of subjects, styles, materials, and techniques, Rauschenbergs work reflected his belief that “painting relates to both art and life”. Rauschenberg challenged the status quo with his sculptures and "Combines”, which included stuffed animals, quilts, pillows, rubber tires and images from a wide variety of sources, such as newspapers, television, billboards and old masters. The celebrated Combines, begun in the mid-1950s, brought real-world images and objects into the realm of abstract painting and countered sanctioned divisions between painting and sculpture. 


Iconic Work: Buffalo II, 1964

The silkscreen print of 1964, Buffalo II, is an arrangement of cutouts resembling a collage. It illustrates the artist’s expressed wish to “unfocus” the mind of the viewer by presenting simultaneous images that are open to multiple interpretations. The newspaper imagery evokes current events, reflecting the contemporary emphasis of Pop Art. A returning astronaut parachutes to earth in the lower right frame, while in the upper right President Kennedy, who had been assassinated the previous year, extends his finger as if to underline a point. Rauschneberg covered the surface with a thin veil of oil paint, making his brushstrokes evident.


Who Was Jasper Johns?

One of the constant themes of Jasper Johns (b. 1930) is the boundary between everyday objects and objects whose representation he explored in different ways, including the map and flag of the United States, targets, and stenciled numbers and words.


Iconic Work: Three Flags, 1958

In Three Flags of 1958, Johns depicts a popular image that is also a national emblem. His flags are built up with superimposed canvas strips covered with wax encaustic - a combination that creates a pronounced sense of surface texture.

”Using the design of the American flag,” Johns has been quoted as saying, “took care of a great deal for me because I didn’t have to design it.” The flag is abstract insofar as it consists of pure geometric shapes (stars and rectangles), but it is also an instantly recognizable, familiar object. The American flag has its own history, and the encaustic medium that Johns used to paint it dates back to antiquity. It thus combines the painterly qualities of Abstract Expressionism with the representation of a popular and well known object. One question raised by John’s treatment of the subject is “When does the flag cease to be a patriotic sign or symbol and become an artistic image?”


Robert Rauschenberg & Jasper Johns Relationship

The relationship between Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns was one of the greatest love stories in modern art. A time of intense emotional involvement, together they plotted the downfall of Abstract Expressionism in their grubby paint strewn apartments in downtown New York. In the 1950s, during the 6 years they were together, practically everything they produced was a masterpiece.


About the venue: SHOWFIELDS

SHOWFIELDS is a new and revolutionary retail concept in Noho that connects creators + innovators to a variety of digital brands, immersive artworks, and community experiences.

Stacked_Logo_Black (1).png

Materials sponsored by Blick


Artworks powered by Meural

Meural is a patented platform for discovering visual art every day. The MeuralCanvas smart frame, paired with Meural's expertly-curated art library, lets users explore 30,000 artworks+, and interact with them using voice, gesture, web, or mobile app.



Doors open at 6:30pm
7PM: Lesson on Robert Rauschenberg, led by Guggenheim conservator & NYU Teacher, Corey D’Augustine
8-9:30: Painting

Clothing: Aprons will be provided by ArtsClub to protect your clothing.

Materials: All art materials will be provided and you can take home your own masterpiece at the end of the party.