Lotus Bed II (The Lotus Series), 2008
Pigmented Ink-Jet on Somerset Velvet
116 x 152 x 5 cm
Robert Rauschenberg is recognized as forging a bridge between the Abstract Expressionism of the forties and fifties, to the Pop Art of the sixties. In the pioneering of this new art, Rauschenberg’s innovations blurred the lines between sculpture and painting, and obliterated the illusion of Cartesian space. Most famous for his “Combines” of the 1950s, he applied found objects and other non-traditional materials in new configurations. Rauschenberg challenged the distinction between art objects and those of everyday life and sought to elevate the status of the mainstream. Known also for advances in the field of printmaking, his adoption of the commercial medium of silk-screen printing enabled him to uniquely address the impact of reproducibility on perception and experience. Rauschenberg’s contributions in the fields of painting, printmaking and performance are of significant and lasting influence on younger generations.
Robert Rauschenberg was born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1925. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, the Academie Julian in Paris, and under Josef Albers at the legendary Black Mountain College. His first retrospective, organized by the National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, D.C., 1970, traveled throughout the United States. Rauschenberg’s extensive travel abroad culminated in the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange project 1985-1991. He also founded Change, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides emergency funds for artists, and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; a non-profit entity devoted to projects that increase public awareness about subjects of vital interest to the artist. Since 1951, Rauschenberg’s work has been exhibited extensively in museums and galleries around the world, and has received many awards and honors. Rauschenberg lived and worked in Captiva, Florida from 1970, to his death in 2008.