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Rauschenberg exhibit to celebrate artist’s birthday

October 8, 2014
SPECIAL TO THE CAPTIVA CURRENT , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Florida SouthWestern State College and lead sponsor FineMark National Bank & Trust announce the first solo exhibition of world renowned artist Robert Rauschenberg since his memorial at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery in 2008 and the first installation in more than a decade of his monumental 100 ft.-long Chinese Summerhall (1984) photograph.

RAUSCHENBERG: China/America Mix is the artist's sixteenth one-man show at the College (since the Gallery was founded in 1979) and celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Gallery's renaming and dedication in his honor.

The RAUSCHENBERG: China/America Mix exhibition will open to the public from 7-9 p.m. on Bob Rauschenberg's Oct. 22 birthday, with musical performances by longtime friends Dickie Landry, Kat Epple and Sonic Combine.

Article Photos

The Captiva artist visiting the gallery named in his honor.


Rauschenberg was born in 1925 and spent his most productive years at his Captiva studio.

A pre-opening lecture on "Rauschenberg in China" will be presented from 6-7 p.m. by distinguished guest, Dr. Donald Saff (founder of USF's Graphicstudio and Artistic Director of Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange/ROCI).

Widely acknowledged as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Rauschenberg is credited with pioneering the transition from European modernism to American pop art and was a local Lee County resident for nearly four decades. His effect still looms large around the globe, but this is particularly evident in China. Inspired by his 1982 visit to Jing Xian and his work at the ancient Xuan Paper Mill on his 7 [Chinese] Characters collages (included in this exhibition), Rauschenberg returned to China in 1985 to mount his Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) exhibition at the National Gallery in Beijing.

Open to the public for less than three weeks, Rauschenberg's ROCI/China show attracted more than 300,000 visitors and is still considered a seminal cultural event. To this day, the most recognized Chinese artists acknowledge his great influence and broader impact in describing art in China "before and after Rauschenberg.

These events are open to the public, free of charge. The first-come, first-served seating for the 6 p.m. lecture is limited. For additional information, call (239) 489-9313, or visit



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