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Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg (b. in Port Arthur, Texas. October 22, 1925 – Captiva Island, Florida. May 12, 2008) American painter and graphic artist whose early works anticipated the pop art movement. Rauschenberg is well known for his "Combines" of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in various combinations. Rauschenberg was both a painter and a sculptor and the Combines are a combination of both, but he also worked with photography, printmaking, papermaking, and performance. Robert Rauschenberg was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1993. He became the recipient of the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts in 1995 in recognition of his more than 40 years of artmaking.

 

Rauschenberg's approach was sometimes called "Neo Dadaist," a label he shared with the painter Jasper Johns. Rauschenberg was quoted as saying that he wanted to work "in the gap between art and life" suggesting he questioned the distinction between art objects and everyday objects, reminiscent of the issues raised by the Fountain, by Dada pioneer, Marcel Duchamp. At the same time, Johns' paintings of numerals, flags, and the like, were reprising Duchamp's message of the role of the observer in creating art's meaning.

 

In 1984, Rauschenberg announced his Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) at the United Nations. This would culminate in a seven-year, ten-country tour to encourage "world peace and understanding", through Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Beijing, Lhasa (Tibet), Japan, Cuba, Soviet Union, Berlin, and Malaysia in which he left a piece of art, and was influenced by the cultures he visited. Paintings, often on reflective surfaces, as well as drawings, photographs, assemblages and other multimedia were produced, inspired by these surroundings, and these were considered some of his strongest works. The ROCI venture, supported by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In his visit to Cuba, Robert Rauschenberg create this artwork that belongs to our collection.