Early Egyptians (1973–74)

After Rauschenberg had moved his main studio from New York to Captiva, Florida in 1970, his art incorporated the materials around him: cardboard and sand. This series consists primarily of sculptural works made from cardboard boxes coated with glue, then sand, and/or wrapped in gauze. While they appear to have the heft and weight of massive Egyptian stone works, they are deceptively light weight. During this period, Rauschenberg had a particular interest in the Middle East and in the art of ancient Egypt. The Early Egyptians are often painted with neon acrylic which reflect on the wall adjacent, creating a luminous halo around the work.