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Artists Robert Rauschenberg
Robert Rauschenberg Photo

Robert Rauschenberg

American Collagist, Painter, and Graphic Artist

Movements and Styles: Neo-Dada, Performance Art, Digital Art, Modern Sculpture

Born: October 22, 1925 - Port Arthur, Texas

Died: May 12, 2008 - Captiva Island, Florida

Robert Rauschenberg Timeline

Quotes

"I really feel sorry for people who think things like soap dishes or mirrors or Coke bottles are ugly because they're surrounded by things like that all day long, and it must make them miserable."
Robert Rauschenberg
"I usually work in a direction until I know how to do it, then I stop. At the time that I am bored or understand - I use those words interchangeably - another appetite has formed. A lot of people try to think up ideas. I'm not one. I'd rather accept the irresistible possibilities of what I can't ignore."
Robert Rauschenberg
"There is no reason not to consider the world as one gigantic painting."
Robert Rauschenberg
"There was a whole language that I could never make function for myself in relationship to painting and that was attitudes like tortured, struggle, pain."
Robert Rauschenberg
"I did a twenty foot print and John Cage is involved in that because he was the only person I knew in New York who had a car and who would be willing to do this."
Robert Rauschenberg

"Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made."

Robert Rauschenberg Signature

Synopsis

Considered by many to be one of the most influential American artists due to his radical blending of materials and methods, Robert Rauschenberg was a crucial figure in the transition from Abstract Expressionism to later modern movements. One of the key Neo-Dada movement artists, his experimental approach expanded the traditional boundaries of art, opening up avenues of exploration for future artists. Although Rauschenberg was the enfant terrible of the art world in the 1950s, he was deeply respected and admired by his predecessors. Despite this admiration, he disagreed with many of their convictions and literally erased their precedent to move forward into new aesthetic territory that reiterated the earlier Dada inquiry into the definition of art.

Key Ideas

Engaged in questioning the definition of a work of art and the role of the artist, Rauschenberg shifted from a conceptual outlook where the authentic mark of the brushstroke described the artist's inner world towards a reflection on the contemporary world, where an interaction with popular media and mass-produced goods reflected a unique artistic vision.
Rauschenberg merged the realms of kitsch and fine art, employing both traditional media and found objects within his "combines" by inserting appropriated photographs and urban detritus amidst standard wall paintings.
Rauschenberg believed that painting related to "both art and life. Neither can be made." Following from this belief, he created artworks that move between these realms in constant dialogue with the viewers and the surrounding world, as well as with art history.
Preferring to leave the interpretation of the works to his viewers, Rauschenberg allowed chance to determine the placement and combination of the different found images and objects in his artwork such that there were no predetermined arrangements or meanings embedded within the works.

Biography

Robert Rauschenberg Photo

Childhood

Robert Rauschenberg was born Milton Ernest Rauschenberg in the small refinery town of Port Arthur, Texas. His father, Ernest, was a strict and serious man who worked for the Gulf State Utilities power company. His mother, Dora, was a devout Christian and a frugal woman. She made the family's clothes from scraps, a practice that embarrassed her son, but possibly influenced his later work with assemblages and collage. Rauschenberg drew frequently and copied images from comics, but his talent as a draughtsman went largely unappreciated, except by his younger sister Janet. Until he was 13, he planned to become a minister - a career of high standing in his conservative community. However, Rauschenberg discovered that his church called dancing a sin, and, as a skilled dancer himself, was dissuaded from a career in the ministry. He asked for and received a store-bought shirt for his high school graduation present, the very first in his young life.

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Robert Rauschenberg Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Robert Rauschenberg
Interactive chart with Robert Rauschenberg's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Marcel DuchampMarcel Duchamp
Kurt SchwittersKurt Schwitters
Joseph CornellJoseph Cornell
Clyfford StillClyfford Still

Personal Contacts

John CageJohn Cage
Jasper JohnsJasper Johns
Merce CunninghamMerce Cunningham
Cy TwomblyCy Twombly

Movements

DadaDada
Abstract ExpressionismAbstract Expressionism
SurrealismSurrealism

Influences on Artist
Robert Rauschenberg
Robert Rauschenberg
Years Worked: 1947 - 2008
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Andy WarholAndy Warhol
Roy LichtensteinRoy Lichtenstein
Allan KaprowAllan Kaprow

Personal Contacts

Jasper JohnsJasper Johns
Robert HughesRobert Hughes
Leo SteinbergLeo Steinberg
Leo CastelliLeo Castelli

Movements

HappeningsHappenings
Neo-DadaNeo-Dada
Pop ArtPop Art
Conceptual ArtConceptual Art

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Julia Brucker

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Julia Brucker
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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