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Rauschenberg, Robert(rou`shənbûrg'), 1925–2008, American painter, b. Port Arthur, Tex., as Milton Ernest Rauschenberg. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, with Josef AlbersAlbers, Josef
, 1888–1976, German-American painter, printmaker, designer, and teacher, b. Bottrop, Germany. After working at the Bauhaus (1920–33), Albers and his wife, the textile designer and weaver Anni Albers, emigrated to the United States when Hitler came to
..... Click the link for more information. at Black Mountain College, and at New York's Art Students League. In the late 1950s he came under the influence of Marcel DuchampDuchamp, Marcel
, 1887–1968, French painter, brother of Raymond Duchamp-Villon and half-brother of Jacques Villon. Duchamp is noted for his cubist-futurist painting Nude Descending a Staircase,
..... Click the link for more information. . With his friend Jasper JohnsJohns, Jasper,
1930–, American artist, b. Augusta, Ga. Influenced by Marcel Duchamp in the mid-1950s, Johns attempted to transform common objects into art by placing them in an art context.
..... Click the link for more information. , Rauschenberg became a pivotal figure in the emerging pop artpop art,
movement that restored realism to avant-garde art; it first emerged in Great Britain at the end of the 1950s as a reaction against the seriousness of abstract expressionism.
..... Click the link for more information. movement, and together they were vital to initiating a new era of experimentation in American art. A constant innovator and improviser, Rauschenberg moved from style to style and medium to medium, blurring the lines between painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and even performance and dance.
Rauschenberg's enormously inventive paintings, some of which incorporate silkscreen, include everyday images and objects and are executed in a loose, spontaneous style. He also experimented extensively with assemblage. Gloria (1956; Cleveland Mus. of Art), Canyon (1959), Summer Rental III (1960; Whitney Mus., New York City), and the famous Monogram (1959; Moderna Museet, Stockholm), which incorporates a whole stuffed Angora goat encircled by an automobile tire, are characteristic of the three-dimensional collagescollage
[Fr.,=pasting], technique in art consisting of cutting and pasting natural or manufactured materials to a painted or unpainted surface—hence, a work of art in this medium.
..... Click the link for more information. , known as "combines," which he created from 1954 to 1964. Major works of the 1980s and 90s are mainly large constructions. Rauschenberg began using photographs in the 1950s, but photographic images are particularly prevalent in his later works, as in the massive "Scenarios" paintings of the early 2000s, which also make use of computers and digital printers. One of contemporary American art's most prolific and influential figures, he also collaborated with artists in other fields, such as composer John CageCage, John,
1912–92, American composer, b. Los Angeles. A leading figure in the musical avant-garde from the late 1930s, he attended Pomona College and later studied with Arnold Schoenberg, Adolph Weiss, and Henry Cowell.
..... Click the link for more information. and choreographers Merce CunninghamCunningham, Allan,
1784–1842, Scottish author. His collection of The Songs of Scotland, Ancient and Modern (4 vol., 1825) included his own "A Wet Sheet and a Flowing Sea," one of the best-known sea ballads.
..... Click the link for more information. , Paul TaylorTaylor, Paul,
1930–, American modern-dance choreographer, b. Pittsburgh. Taylor trained as an artist before he received scholarships to study dance. In 1953 he made his debut with the Merce Cunningham company and performed his first dance composition.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Trisha BrownBrown, Trisha,
1936–2017, American dancer and choreographer acclaimed for having revolutionized modern dance in the late 20th cent., b. Aberdeen, Wash. After studying dance at Mills College (B.A.
..... Click the link for more information. .
See catalogs of his work ed. by L. Alloway (1976), W. Hopps et al. (1997), and P. Schimmel (2005); S. Hunter, ed., Robert Rauschenberg: Works, Writing, Interviews (2007); biography by M. L. Kotz (1994, rev. ed. 2004); studies by C. Tomkins (1980, repr. 2005), M. Ormond (1985), B. Rose (1987), L. Steinberg (2000), B. W. Joseph (2002 as ed., 2003), R. S. Mattison (2004), and B. W. Joseph (2007).