Florida SouthWestern State College is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery with a major solo exhibition of world renowned artist, longtime Lee County resident and gallery namesake, Bob Rauschenberg. Four decades since the founding of the Gallery in 1979, this celebratory show “RAUSCHENBERG 40” is drawn from several prominent local collections and includes a number of never previously exhibited original paintings from the Gluts, Urban Bourbon, Anagrams (A Pun) and Waterworks series.
Beginning chronologically with the portfolio edition of “XXXIV Drawings for Dante’s Inferno” (1965) that was illustrated on his first extended visit to the Sunshine State’s Gulf Coast, Rauschenberg often joked that he had “gone through Hell to move to Florida.” 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 has been the subject of recent retrospectives at the Tate Modern in London, Museum of Modern Art in New York and the San Francisco MoMA. However, this is the first exhibition to exclusively survey works produced by the artist while living and working in Southwest Florida and to feature seldom or never-before-seen works that have remained in the community that he so proudly called home.
As Bob Rauschenberg often repeated and as this RAUSCHENBERG 40: The Fortieth Anniversary of the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW Exhibition makes evident: “Fort Myers is as small as your mind is. It can be just as large as the world is.”
This exhibition opens to the public during regularly scheduled hours and without a preview reception on Monday, August 26th. Related lectures, performances and celebratory events will be announced throughout the duration of the show.
The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery was founded as The Gallery of Fine Art in 1979 on the Lee County campus of Florida SouthWestern State College/FSW (then Edison Community College). On June 4th 2004 the Gallery of Fine Art was renamed the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, to honor and commemorate our long time association and friendship with the artist. Over more than three decades until his death, the Gallery worked closely with Rauschenberg to present world premiere exhibitions including multiple installations of the ¼ Mile or Two Furlong Piece. The artist insisted on naming the space the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery (versus the “Robert Rauschenberg Gallery”) as it was consistent with the intimate, informal relationship he maintained with both our local Southwest Florida community and FSW.
This exhibition is generously sponsored by Stanton Storer Embrace the Arts Foundation, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel and UBS.
The exhibition and related events are open to the public, free of charge.
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday 10 am – 4 pm and Saturday 11 am – 3 pm