Gluts (1986–89/1991–94)

Rauschenberg used scrap metal, such as gas station signs and deteriorated automotive and industrial parts, transforming them into this sculptural series of wall reliefs and freestanding assemblages. The title was inspired by his visit to Houston in 1985, after an oil glut resulted in an economic crisis. In 1987, Rauschenberg collected scrap metal and fabric in Naples, Italy to create a replacement set for a performance of Trisha Brown Dance Company’s Lateral Pass (1985). He later incorporated pieces from this stage set into the Glut series, referred to as the Neapolitan Gluts. Rauschenberg also created the Glut Books (1986), a series of books made from the changeable metal numbers on gas station price signs.