Robert Rauschenberg (born 1925) was enticed to work at Gemini GEL in 1966. For Rauschenberg, Tyler’s promise that scale was not a problem was assurance enough. He decided to make a life–sized self–portrait — an X–ray in the nude except for a pair of large boots. This X–ray became the key element for the print, Booster of 1967. Its groundbreaking size required the use of two lithographic stones placed in the press one after the other, with the paper run through twice to complete the image.
Booster remains one of the most significant prints made in the 20th century, helping to take printmaking into a new era in which prints were to rival paintings in invention and size.
Rauschenberg’s next project with Gemini GEL was a revolutionary print series, Stoned moon of 1969–70. The artist had been invited by NASA (the National Aeronautic and Space Administration) to witness the launch from the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, of the rocket that would land a man on the moon. The artist found the whole experience astounding, particularly the combination of the high–tech event with the human struggle to support the venture. This juxtaposition of technology and the everyday inspired his imagery. For example, he noticed a bird’s nest perched high on a NASA structure and he included this image in his prints.
At Tyler’s recommendation Rauschenberg spent some time at Moulin à Papier Richard de Bas, in Ambert, a French papermaking mill that dated back to the 13th century. One of the 12 paperworks he made there is Link of 1974, a collage of brilliantly coloured inked pulp and screenprinted tissue—a page from a 20th–century version of a luminous medieval manuscript.
This venture heralded the future of handmade paper in the Tyler workshops.
Works in the Kenneth E. Tyler Collection
Booster; from Booster and 7 studies
Page 2; from Pages and fuses
Sky garden; from Stoned moon
- Rauschenberg & Johns: Significant Others, 2022
- Lichtenstein to Warhol, 2019–2020
- American Masters, 2018
- Stoned Moon: celebrating 50 years of Australian – US cooperation in space, 2010
- Soft Sculpture, 2009
- Robert Rauschenberg 1967-1978, 2007–08
- The Big Americans: the art of collaboration, 2002–03
- Pop! Prints from the 1960s and 1970s, 8 June 1991 – 24 May 1992
- Word as Image, 10 March – 4 June 1989
- Ken Tyler: Printer extraordinary, 6 June – 13 October 1985
- Paperwork, 13 October 1982 – 16 May 1983
NATIONAL GALLERY PUBLICATIONS
- Lichtenstein to Warhol: The Kenneth Tyler Collection, Jane Kinsman, exhibition catalogue, 2019
- Workshop: The Kenneth Tyler Collection, Jane Kinsman (ed.), 2015
- Stoned Moon: Robert Rauschenberg, 2010
- Robert Rauschenberg 1967-1978, 2007
- The Art of Collaboration: The Big Americans, exhibition catalogue, 2002
- Ken Tyler Printer Extraordinary, 1985
- Paperwork, Pat Gilmour and Anne Wilsford, exhibition catalogue, 1982
TYLER GRAPHICS PUBLICATIONS