Eleanor Conover

Weather Reader

February 25, 2022 - August 13, 2022

February 25–August 13, 2022

Eleanor Conover works with the material conditions of painting as both tangible and metaphorical spaces to investigate surface and environment. She joined the Dickinson College faculty as Assistant Professor of Art in the Fall of 2021.

Recent past exhibitions include Able Baker Contemporary (Portland, ME), Bad Water (Knoxville, TN), and Ortega y Gasset Projects (Brooklyn, NY). She was the 2020-21 recipient of the Wellesley College Alice C. Cole ’42 fellowship, awarded to an outstanding early career painter or sculptor. She completed her MFA at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University (2018), and BA from Harvard College (2010); she received a post-MFA teaching fellowship at the School of Art, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 


The museum will host an informal discussion in the gallery with the artist. Meet Eleanor Conover and consider the nature of her paintings and their place within her artistic career.

Thursday, April 21.

Meet and greet: 4-4:15 pm

Discussion: 4:15-5 pm

Robert Rauschenberg: Surface Series

From Currents

June 3, 2022 - October 15, 2022

Opening Reception: Friday, September 9, 4-7pm

"I want to shake people awake. I want people to look at the material and react to it. I want to make them aware of individual responsibility, both for themselves and for the rest of the human race. It has become easy to be complacent about the world. The fact that you paid a quarter for your newspaper almost satisfies your conscience: Because you have read your newspaper, you have done your bit. And so you wrap your conscience in your newspaper just like you wrap your garbage. . . . I made [Currents] as realistically as I could, as austerely as possible, in the most direct way I knew how, because, knowing that it was art, people had to take a second look, at least, at the facts they were wrapping their garbage in."

—Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)

This exhibition presents Surface Series (1970), an important group of eighteen screen prints by Robert Rauschenberg. He made the prints at the threshold of a new decade, to “shake people awake,” to open their conscience to the world around them. For each of the prints in the series, Rauschenberg overlaid images and headlines drawn from contemporary newspapers—some shown as negatives, others as positives, all of them black and white. Many of them display large moiré dot patterns, which are usually unwanted products of commercial printing processes. In this context, however, they take on an artistic quality, much like the half-tone dots used in the Pop-inspired works of Roy Lichtenstein. Each of the prints measure forty by forty inches. 

Initially, Rauschenberg envisioned the Surface Series prints as part of a larger project, one that included a second set of twenty-five prints—known as Features—which were to be hand-sewn together to make a colossal paper quilt that was to hang at Dayton's Gallery 12 (Minneapolis). The quilted print project was not realized; however, the prints were published as separate editions. 

The Surface Series was printed on Aqua B 844 paper, 1970, signed and dated in pencil. Co-published by Dayton’s Gallery 12 (Minneapolis) and Castelli Graphics (New York). Image: 35 x 35 in.; paper: 40 x 40 in. Edition: 100 plus 4 artist’s proofs and 2 printer’s proofs.

Robert Rauschenberg, Surface Series from Currents, screen prints. Gift of Lawrence and Carol Zicklin, 1982.13.1.1–18.

Helen Hsu: Rauschenberg's Surface Series

Thursday September 22nd, 7pm

Rubendall Recital Hall, Weiss Center for the Arts

Associate Curator Helen Hsu of The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation will deliver a lecture on Rauschenberg's Surface Series, currently on view at The Trout Gallery.  Hsu has conducted extensive research on the series, including a comprehensive investigation of the media sources Rauschenberg used when creating the works.  Her analysis reveals the complex and powerful ways that Rauschenberg delivers a critique of news media by using its most persuasive visual strategies.