Cage is a poet, writer and friend of Robert Rauschenberg. His ideas seem poetical and somewhat random, almost akin to reading through a mist, in his expression of ideas of what Robert Rauschenberg??™s work is about, his thoughts also seem to be affected by this relationship, and emotional connection to Robert Rauschenberg praising him and his artistic talents, Cage writes of Rauschenberg ???beauty is now underfoot when ever we take the trouble to look ??? he says is when Rauschenberg looks an idea Is this a statement that the artists can portray the multiplicity of a thought within a work Cage expressed the idea that people would begin to appreciate, through Rauschenberg??™s endeavours, not just that anything, including junk, and newsprint could be the bais of art, but that it could be an art aspiring to be beautiful that there was the potential for poetic and artistic expression in consumer goods and popular culture and it was in this, that Rauschenberg celebrated in his work.
He seems to be implying that Rauschenberg uses the combining of the newsprint and the paint to create the subject and from their combination, and not from their individual characteristics and that it is the artist??™s selection of material that is crucial to the construction and seeing of this newly created image.
He praises Rauschenberg as an oculist helping the viewers to see the beauty in his work, and that it is created from within its construction and is not necessarily or preferably created from any set idea or ideas that Rauschenberg perceived prior to commencement of the work. He describes the work as a setting for the items of its construction to inhabit maybe like a plan or objects on a table top seen from above, and says that their inclusion is in some way representational or similar or alike in such a way as to permit the drawing of an analogy with birth, death, travel, or just through the randomness of house cleaning or cluttering. He says that Rauschenberg uses symmetry to unfocus attention so the eye is not drawn to one point above another.
Leo Steinberg seems to give a more learned and coherent expression of his ideas in relation the flatbed picture plane explaining the concepts of horizontality and verticality with examples such as the bed where the making is in the horizontal plane, but if placed vertically it becomes a viewed object. Leo Steinberg expresses the idea that Robert Rauschenberg had taken the picture plane from its traditional vertical aspect, and used it in a totally different way, different from other artists working at the time, different from the way they used the picture plane, still in the vertical aspect reflecting the human stance , Steinberg says Rauschenberg has created a new picture plane by making it horizontal like a plan or blue print or map, made in the horizontal plane but able to be viewed in the vertical, but not as a vertically created image, constructed in the same way that newspaper pages can be put together in any number of arrangements without reference to ???vertical fields???, and are not reliant on nature, or its arrangements, as Leo Steinberg states??? a shift from nature to culture???. The way the image confronts the viewer, as a representation of the mind in graphic form, a flat surface where visual items of information and matter can be brought together and manipulated by the artist, like thoughts laid out on a flat surface. A work space, rather than a world space, with no perspective or connection to the illusionistic vertical portrayal of nature. This hard surface picture plane is being described by Leo Steinberg as that of a bill board that has no transparency, a hard surface to adhere elements to with the objective being the total avoidance of the creation of depth.
Even using stains and drips of paint to further the consistency of this horizontality as if to hold it to the canvas and flatten it further, and in doing so also to create a continuous multifaceted image.