Since I was intent on getting into the Gauguin exhibit on time, I didn't bother to read much information about these collages, though the date (1971) made an impression on me. After a bit of research, I'm almost certain they are part of the Robert Rauschenberg Cardboard series. I have to admit, I didn't know anything about Rauschenberg before this, but I've since learned that he used materials that he collected all around him in daily life to use in his art, often using discarded items, such as the old cardboard boxes used to make these collages. My first reaction when I saw them was almost to laugh and wonder why I am working so hard with my collages, using paint and other media, wondering how they can be framed, when all I'd really have to do is this. But of course, this has already been done, quite some time ago, by Rauschenberg. And, thanks to Rauschenberg, at least in part, it is acceptable for artists to use everyday "ephemera" in our artwork. And I have to admit, I really like these collages. They illustrate that even the most humble, everyday sort of object can have beauty.
The Gauguin exhibit was wonderful, and perhaps I will think of something to write about that later. In the meantime, you can find me at the recycling bin, looking for my next collage inspiration.