Robert Rauschenberg, American Painter, Graphic Artist (1925-2008)

Robert Rauschenberg, American Painter, Graphic Artist (1925-2008)

Having a significant impact, dominance and worked as a key figure in the development of American Art. Robert Rauschenberg is widely known for his experimental and unconventional innovative approach to the artwork which channels the transition from abstract expressionism to later modern movements. On the verge of neo-dada movement the Robert stood as the crucial and influential one, his experimental approach widened the boundaries and opened the new territories for future artists. The painter, graph artist, and sculptor, who is well known for his “Combines” using non-traditional materials and objects canvased in innovative symmetry.

Robert Rauschenberg was born as Milton Ernest Rauschenberg on October 22, 1925, in Port Arthur Texas, initially aspiring as pharmacist leads to study pharmacology at the University of Texas and served US Navy discovering his potential of drawing and his thirst for artistic representation. After getting discharged, artiste studied at the Kanas City Art Institute and the Academie Julian in Paris where he met his future wife Susan Weil. A year later he heads back to North Carolina and attended the Black Mountain College where country’s most applauded and visionary artist Buckminster Fuller and Joseph Albers was teaching. Describing Joseph Albers as influencing to paint totally opposite what he has been taught.

Robert Rauschenberg, Port of Entry [Anagram (A Pun)], 1998

His artistic ambition was peaked which managed to present his artwork; Robert Rauschenberg’s series of White painting at Betty Parson Gallery in New York. The usage of roller for painting onto the canvas with high surroundings effects presents a change in it. Subsequently, he figured the total reverse in his series of Black painting; were painted with heavy layer and inclusion of newspaper scraps. He drafted his typical artistic tone by using material rarely utilized by artists. Covering canvas with house paint and inking wheel rolling over the paper to draw, representing a concern for the panting and transferring images.

White Painting, seven panels, (1951) by Robert Rauschenberg


Exploring the artistic revolution, Robert associates major influences referred to his encounter with minimalist Composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham, and most intriguing was Jasper Johns whom Robert shared a label for approach as Neo-Dadaist. Rauschenberg’s imagination and denying of the typicality of abstract expressionism grafts him to construct new ways of painting. Using a silk-screen methodology that was later adopted by Andy Warhol, he created profound imageries stirred by the essence of modern history and popular culture.

Robert Rauschenberg, Buffalo II, 1964. eight-foot-tall silkscreen entitled Buffalo II

Robert Rauschenberg travelled to Europe and North Africa with CY Twombly, during the journey Robert created collages and made first assemblages of trashed boxes and countryside junk, later exhibited in Rome. Further exploring and experimenting the photo-sculptor style in a painting created Red Series with modification in the earlier, applying newspaper sheets and various surface textures enhancing and advancing his experience including new objects. Rauschenberg innovative artwork named as combine as they represent a mixture of paint and specifically sculpture on the canvas.


One of the most famous Rauschenberg’s Combines was “Monogram” consists of randomly canvased material, a goat head, a police barrier, a shoe heel, a tire, and paint established a new course of modern art. The Canyon is also another art-piece by the innovative artist, including new objects such as part of undershirt, broad slashes of paint and bald stuffed eagle with stretched wings about to lift off. The visualization of portraying objects by combining with images remained the speciality of Rauschenberg’s artwork. The emergence of pop art in the sixties turned artist’s course to two-dimensional combines using current events magazine cuts to create silk-screen prints. Robert Rauschenberg uses the technique to paint the canvases with overlapped imagery and brushstrokes, look abstract with distance stare but upon closer interaction and inspection, one can find the resemblance and combination related to each other.

Robert Rauschenberg – Monogram

Rauschenberg engraved his name in the art world and fame followed exhibiting his artwork in Whitechapel Gallery in London and Venice Biennale where his painting stood first and won the prize. The continuation of artistic visualization, aiming to explore, and experimenting with the new technologies he instituted “Experiment in Art technology” with a vision and purpose to encourage the alliance between the scientist and artists. Rauschenberg continued to test in his artistries with different objects and questioned the views of the art world with his individuality.

Rauschenberg engaged in spreading his ideas and art for change in society, primarily absorbed in the production of collagen and new modes of transferring images. The Guggenheim Museum showcased the biggest exhibition by displaying more than four hundred of his work, galleried the influence and beauty of the artist’s work over the course of multiple decades. Rauschenberg’s legacy defines the distinctiveness of artist and artwork lied in the visualization and interaction, reflecting the Rauschenberg vision. Robert Rauschenberg’s artwork was represented and held by Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art, Miami, Pace Gallery, London, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Tate Gallery in London among others. He was awarded the National Medal of Art and Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts for his prolific contribution to artwork. He died at the age of 82 in Florida.

Robert Rauschenberg’s Documentary, Artistic Journey 


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