Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), was an early American pop artist and abstract expressionist from Port Arthur, TX. He never seriously considered life as an artist until after he served as a Marine and studied art in Paris under the G.I. Bill. There would go on to receive his formal education at Black Mountain College where he befriended the likes of Josef Albers, John Cage, and Jasper Johns, and was exposed to a multitude of disciplines, which are evident in his distinct style.
As an accomplished painter, collage artist and silk screener, Rauschenberg began to experiment with a variety of materials in his combines, which where collages that incorporate scavenged objects, brush work, photographs and fabric. This combination of mediums, silk screening, and different surfaces helped Rauschenberg offer unique visual presentations of American pop culture that flirted with the boundaries of traditional art forms, which make him an important figure in the early pop art movement. In 1998, the Guggenheim Museum presented a large and comprehensive retrospective of Rauschenberg’s work, highlighting his influence on American art in the second half of the 20th century.
Understanding is a form of blindness. Good art, I think, can never be understood.
- Robert Rauschenberg