Robert Rauschenberg 1925-2008


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Robert Rauschenberg is an American artist best-known for his Combine series of the 1950s. He studied at the University of Texas before being drafted by the United States Navy in 1943. Rauschenberg was stationed in California, where he served as a mental hospital technician. After the war, he studied at the Black Mountain College in North Carolina under Josef Albers, who taught Bauhaus theory. Rauschenberg later admitted that Albers' strict theories made him want to oppose his teachings and freely explore the creation of art. He studied at the Arts Students League of New York from 1949 to 1952, where he met fellow artists as Cy Twombly and Jasper Johns.  


Rauschenberg worked in a variety of media, including photography, printmaking, papermaking, painting, performance and set design. In the 1950s, he searched for a new way of painting that differed from Abstract Expressionism, questioning the use of everyday objects as art objects. He once stated, "I think a painting is more like the real world if it's made out of the real world." His Combine series was a conglomeration of unconventional art materials as dirt, car parts, yarn and cardboard. Often viewed as Neo-Dadaist, Rauschenberg strived to work "in the gap between art and life." The artist spent his time between New York and Florida, where he died in 2008 just after he finished his Runt Series, which were paintings that consisted of collaged photographs he had collected over his lifetime.


Robert Rauschenberg's work is featured in various collections including the San Francisco MoMA, the MCA in Los Angeles, the MoMA in New York, the Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna, the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst in Germany.


Related categories: Use of Common Materials, Use of Found Objects, Popular Culture, Mixed-Media, United States, Sexual Identity.