Robert Rauschenberg - The American Modern Art Artist
Robert Rauschenberg was born Milton Ernst Rauschenberg on October 22, 1925 at Port Arthur, Texas. He was an American artist who gained reputation through the changeover from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art, the visual art movement of the 1950s. He was renowned for his paintings and sculpture in which unconventional materials were employed. Apart from painting and sculpture, Rauschenberg is also well-known for photography, papermaking, print making and performance art.
Rauschenberg studied art at Kansas City Art Institute and Academie Julian in Paris after the Second World War. In 1948 he joined the Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Here he was guided by leading teachers and visiting artists including Josef Albers and John Cage. He was also inspired by the instruction methods and the stringent discipline employed by Josef Albers.
In 1953 Rauschenberg exhibited his Black Paintings and White Paintings at Eleanor Ward's Stable Gallery in New York. These paintings were a showcase of the varied talents he possessed. His Black Paintings were created using newspapers as the base, a technique common with Pop Art. Later he had shifted his attention towards Red Painting from the monochromatic paintings of the Black Painting and White Painting series. These artistic works consisted of an assortment of red paint applications with the addition of materials such as nails, newsprint and wood.
Rauschenberg is renowned for his "Combines" that are incorporated with both the features of painting and sculpture. Through his combines he had broken down the division between art and sculpture. For creating the Combines he used a variety of objects from everyday life including stuffed goats or birds, street signs, covers and pillows, newspapers, fabrics, wallpapers, windows, doors and many other objects.
The popular creations of Robert Rauschenberg include "Bed"," Black Market", "Untitled", "Minutiae", "Odalisk", "Factum I and Factum II" and many more. He is often referred to as a prolific artist who wasn't apprehensive about attempting just about any kind of art including painting, sculptures, photographs, printmaking and performance art. He is also considered a modest futurist who carefully depicted the puzzles of life by means of the regular mundane objects used in one's daily life.
For his outstanding creations, Rauschenberg was conferred several awards including the Skowhegan Medal for Painting in 1982, and the Jerusalem Prize for Arts and Letters by the Friends of Bezalel Academy of Jerusalem in 1984. In 1986, he was also honored with the World Print Council's Award for Excellence in International Cultural Exchange. In 1984 he was conferred the Grammy Award for the finest album package for the Talking Heads album, "Speaking in Tongues".
Robert Rauschenberg died on May 12 2008, at the age of eighty two in Captiva Island, Florida.