The artist's job is to be a witness to his time in history.
Robert Rauschenberg was a prolific American artist. Rauschenberg was born Milton Ernest in Port Arthur, Texas on October 22, 1925. He began his academic study in pharmacology at the University of Texas, Austin. He was drafted into the Navy and served as a neuropsychiatric technician. In 1947, he attended Kansas City Art Institute and the following year he studied in Paris at The Academie Julian. In 1948-1952, Rauschenberg attened Black Mountain College near Asheville, North Carolina. He took classes at the Art League in New York. Rauschenberg included collage, prints, assembles, paintings and combines through the following years.
Rauschenberg is known for his "Combines" which incorporated printmaking, papermaking, photography and performance. The image below is an example of a combine the piece is entitled "Monogram".
Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-2008). Monogram, 1955-59. Freestanding combine. 106.6 x 160.6 x 163.8 cm (42 x 63 1/4 x 64 1/2 in.). Moderna Museet, Stockholm.
As a painter, photographer, printmaker, sculptor, choreographer, onstage performer, set designer, composer, Rauschenberg's many talents and interests shaped and reshaped his art through out his life.
Robert Rauschenberg made popular a transfer technique using a newspaper and nail polish remover. This technique was widely copied in high school and college art programs. Students expressed in their art, current cultural options and attitudes. Using current images an artist could easily transfer and positions images to a piece of artwork. In the 1960's and beyond this method was quick, easy and inexpensive to transfer and reproduce already printed images. The image below is an example of a transfer drawing of the 1960's.
Robert Rauschenberg: Transfer Drawings From the 1960s," at the Jonathan O'Hara Gallery, includes this untitled 1968 work using watercolor and pencil.
Appointment , 2000
Robert Rauschenberg was a pioneer in art through experimentation. Robert Rauschenberg did not allow his age to be a barrier to experiment with the technology. Rauschenberg built upon his experiences in the arts to create a fearless challenge to keep developing his art through the new technology.
Homestead (Scenarios), 2003 Pigment transfer and acrylic on polylaminate.