The Los Angeles
County Museum of Art has a polychromed wood carving in its collections,
dating from the sixteenth century in Nepal, depicting the wish-fulfilling
tree and under it Chintamani Lokeshvara,
a manifestation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
There are six leaved branches on the tree (the carving stands several feet
high), with birds and beasts and objects. The figure has its left leg bend
behind it, right hand up and left hand down, palms extended.
This is the supreme
compassion, reads the note, which grants all desires, mundane and
spiritual. There is hardly a better way of describing Rauschenberg’s
transmutation of images into visual language. If you imagine the ideal
artist as perceiving the world and conveying it from eye to hand, you have
Rauschenberg. The source of intake is visible in the combines.
exhibition of German and Austrian posters from the Jugendstil to the Nazis
was marred by one of the Education Department’s famous errors,
identifying Max Pechstein as an anti-Semite. He was dismissed from the
Imperial Academy with Schönberg, and his works were exhibited as Entartete Kunst.