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© the estate of Robert Rauschenberg/VAGA, New York and DACS, London 2021. Photo credit: Tate

Almanac 1962

Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008)


(b Port Arthur, Tex., 22 Oct. 1925; d Captiva Island, Fla., 12 May 2008). American painter, printmaker, designer, and experimental artist. With his friend Jasper Johns, whom he met in 1954, he is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the move away from the Abstract Expressionism that had dominated American art in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He studied at various art schools, most notably Black Mountain College. At the time of his first one-man show (coolly received), at the Betty Parsons gallery, New York, in 1951, his work included minimalist monochromatic paintings. In the mid-1950s he began to incorporate three-dimensional objects into what he called ‘combine paintings’. The objects he used included Coca-Cola bottles, fragments of clothing, electric fans, and radios, and because of his preoccupation with such consumer products he has been hailed as one of the pioneers of Pop art.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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