Any incentive to paint is as good as any other. There is no poor subject. Painting is always strongest when in spite of composition, color, etc., it appears as a fact, or an inevitability, as opposed to a souvenir or arrangement. Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made . . . A pair of socks is no less suitable to make a painting with than wood, nails, turpentine, oil, and fabric.
--Robert Rauschenberg, 1959
In the early 1950s, Robert Rauschenberg devised a radical new form, blending two- dimensional collage techniques with three-dimensional objects on painted surfaces. Definable neither as sculpture nor painting, these works were dubbed "combines" by the artist to describe their interdisciplinary formal roots. Rauschenberg's combination of found imagery and gestural brushwork places these works between two movements in painting: Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.
Trophy II (for Teeny and Marcel Duchamp) is one of a series of five combines, all called "trophies," which alluded to the unconventional creative spirit of artists whose work Rauschenberg greatly admired: in this case, Marcel Duchamp and his wife, Teeny. Using found objects, photographs, and paint, the artist considered himself "a collaborator with objects." In this way, he sought to avoid excessive autobiographical readings and instead refers to the dynamics of the urban landscape.
Walker solo exhibition: Robert Rauschenberg: Painting, 1965