The Erased Rauschenberg
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About the Project

A month after launching, the advertising space on The Erased Rauschenberg had been completely sold! 

All of the proceeds from the sale of the Erased Rauschenberg will go to the New Museum’s incubator for art, design and technology, NEW INC. The funds will create a scholarship for members who require financial assistance.


The Story

In 1953, Robert Rauschenberg erased an art piece created by the abstract expressionist Willem De Kooning.  Rauschenberg called the piece “The Erased De Kooning Drawing.”  This act of erasure was a poetic way of having pop art succeed abstract expressionism.

Reasoning Behind Destroying a Rauschenberg

Following in the footsteps of Rauschenberg and in response to the economic trends of the art market, Nikolas Bentel raised $10,000 to purchase an art piece created by Robert Rauschenberg.  Bentel covered the cost of the purchase by selling space on the Rauschenberg piece as advertising space.  Each square inch of the art piece was sold for $92.59.  This made the act of purchasing the art piece, an act of destruction, allowing the economics of the art world to destroy an expensive piece of art.


Nikolas Bentel

I am currently an artist at the New Museum's art and design Incubator, New Inc.


Contact me at:



About the Rauschenberg Art Piece

Rag paper
12 x 9 inches
Signed and numbered in pencil on the lower left
Stamped on verso "© Copyright 1973 By Robert Rauschenberg Printed by Styria Studio" 
Created with Styria Studio Publisher Experiments in Art & Technology

The piece was copyrighted by Rauschenberg in 1973

The piece was copyrighted by Rauschenberg in 1973

The piece is signed by rauschenberg.

The piece is signed by rauschenberg.

A drawing of his famous Monogram sculpture.

A drawing of his famous Monogram sculpture.