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Art Basel in Miami Beach

Rauschenberg draws the crowds

The artist's "fast entertainment for people in stress" is for sale at Art Basel in Miami Beach

Vanessa Ruiz

When Robert Rauschenberg unveiled his monumental Periwinkle Shaft at a children’s hospital in Washington, DC, in 1980, he said that he had made the collaged wall piece as “fast entertainment for people in stress. It’s the first time I’ve done anything for a mobile audience. I think of it as a conservative environmental piece conceived to add confusion.” It is fitting, then, that the work has come to the hectic halls of Art Basel in Miami Beach, where Edward Tyler Nahem is asking $8m for it. The gallery is in discussions with two institutions interested in buying the work.