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Ten Top Galleries Robert Rauschenberg, Not Vital

April 5, 2021

10 top galleries — and what you can buy at them

Next Monday, shops and commercial galleries reopen. Rachel Campbell-Johnston picks the best from round the country — and gives you a fantasy shopping list

On-screen looking is simply not on a par with the living encounter. From next Monday our commercial galleries will be reopening. Don’t wait another month for the public museums to do the same (on May 17). Britain’s independent art spaces frequently put on top-quality shows. What’s more, being smaller and more intimate, they can offer a more intense experience than the massive blockbuster. Better yet, if you find yourself falling in love with an artwork you won’t have to make do with the gift shop postcard.

Robert Rauschenberg: Night Shades and Phantoms at Thaddaeus Ropac, London W1

(020 3813 8400; ropac.net), from April 13 to July 31

Between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s, Robert Rauschenberg produced several series of paintings on metal. His Night Shades and Phantoms are the loveliest of these. Photographic images fall upon the soft greyness of an aluminium surface or cut their frail outlines into a polished gleam. Patterns of tarnish play with the silvery tones. Images emerge and dissolve as you stare Some works are far too subtle to be enjoyed in digital translation. These Rauschenberg series reveal their moods, rhythms and meanings only to those who can stand before them and gaze.

Buy Portal (Night Shade). Here is a way out of whatever problems you may have. It shows you a way into an ethereal other world.

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