Robert Rauschenberg was a trailblazing American artist whose works anticipated the Pop Art movement and are celebrated as the first postmodern art. Born in Port Arthur, Texas, Rauschenberg studied under Josef Albers at Black Mountain College. He married Susan Weil and traveled to Paris to study at Académie Julian. Dyslexic from an early age, he became an enfant terrible of the art world when he broke the dominance of Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s.
Throughout his life, Rauschenberg worked in various mediums such as painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, papermaking, and performance. He is known for pioneering Combines that blurred the boundaries between painting and sculpture by incorporating everyday objects as art materials. In 1960 he created silkscreen paintings that have since become iconic in contemporary American art.
Themes within his body of work include sequences and progressions through time; grids formats which reference modern technology; doubling and mirroring to disorientate perception while challenging traditional representations of space; storytelling narratives rooted around individual experience relating to nature or media forms; connections between people with individual voice played out upon different platforms.
Rauschenberg’s influence continues today because he expanded what it meant for artists to create new forms with everyday materials on themes without restriction by establishing personal contact-breaking popular values- striking landmarks even within himself by building a consciousness defined both clearly and loosely against tradition.
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