Night Shades (1991)

Night Shade is a series of paintings in which images, derived from black-and-white photographs taken by Rauschenberg both in the United States and abroad, are silkscreened onto brushed or mirrored aluminum surfaces with the addition of acrylic washes and tarnishes. The tonal range is somber, varying from dark gray to black. The series title may refer to nightshade plants, but also connects to the idea of shadows, evoked by the Aluma Black tarnishing agent that Rauschenberg used. Individual artwork titles include references to place and autobiography, often involving associative wordplay cued by one or more aspects of the respective artwork’s imagery.