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  • Robert Rauschenberg (b.1925)


    American Artist

    He was born in Fort Arthur, Texas, and was in the navy from 1942. In 1946/7 he studied at the Kansas City Inst., and for a brief period at the Atelier Julian in Paris, but more formatively at the Black Mountain College under Josef Albers. His first exhibition in 1951 in New York was of all-white paintings as an Abstract Expressionist, but he then embarked on innovative 'combine paintings', which were collections of disparate things put together, such as the stuffed goat with a tyre round its middle (1959: Monogram, Stockholm, Mod. Art Mus.).

    He was associated with his friend Jasper Johns in New York in the early 1960s in the creation of Pop Art, with works including paintings, collages, Coca-Cola tins. He also took part in 'happenings' with the musician John Cage, and acted in his own theatrical pieces. For a short time in 1966 he managed, was stage designer for, and technical director of, the Merce Cunningham Dance Theatre and in 1985 he put together an exhibition of his work to help World Peace, which toured Mexicao, Cuba, China, Tibet and Malaysia, ending in the NG Washington.

    He was, above all, instrumental in breaking the hold of Abstract Expressionism on art in America.

    There are works in Los Angeles, Monchengladbach and New York (M of MA).

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  • Source: The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists (Penguin Reference Books)


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Updated: 2015