Sunday, January 26, 2014

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight was an innovative and influential American artist whose work laid the foundation for the Pop Art movement.Today's Out Spotlight is Robert Rauschenberg.

Born Milton Ernst Rauschenberg in Port Arthur, Texas on October 22, 1925, Rauschenberg grew up in a blue-collar fundamentalist Christian family. After a tour of duty in the Navy, he attended the Kansas City Art Institute and the Académie Julian in Paris. He changed his name to Robert, which he believed was more befitting a painter.

In 1948, Rauschenberg began studying at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. In 1950, he married painter Susan Weil. The couple had a son and divorced in 1953.

At Black Mountain, Rauschenberg studied under Joseph Albers, learning to appreciate objets trouvés—found objects—which later would become hallmarks of his work. He studied and collaborated with other emerging artists, including Cy Twombly, Merce Cunningham, John Cage and Jasper Johns. Rauschenberg had a romantic and professional relationship with Johns for eight years.

Rauschenberg moved to New York, where in 1958, he had his first solo exhibition. The exhibit reflected the artist’s transition from abstract painting to what he termed “combines”—the finding and formation of combinations in three-dimensional collage. One of his most famous combines was “Monogram” (1959), which consisted of a stuffed goat, a police barrier, the heel of a shoe and paint.

As the Pop Art era emerged in the 1960’s, Rauschenberg experimented with silkscreen printing and appropriating photographs from the news of the day. For the remainder of his career, Rauschenberg explored new methods of creating his art. Jasper Johns said, “No American artist invented more than Mr. Rauschenberg.”

In 1964, Rauschenberg was the first American artist to win the Grand Prize at the Venice Biennale.

In 1984, Rauschenberg established ROCI, the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange at the United Nations—a seven-year project in which Rauschenberg left a piece of art in, and influenced the cultures of, ten countries.

Rauschenberg won a Grammy Award in 1984 for his design of the Talking Heads’ “Speaking in Tongues” album cover. Four years later, the Guggenheim Museum presented its largest exhibition ever with 400 works by Rauschenberg, showcasing his prolific talent and profound impact on 20th century art.
 “The artist's job is to be a witness to his time in history.”


prairiegirl said...

Good thing Jake got out of the South when he did, eh?

Nice Out Spotlight, Special! Thank you.

prairiegirl said...

Or maybe he isn't out of the South yet...that just might have been a tad premature.......I reserve the right to retract and second guess.

; D