Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rauschenberg Remembered

The artist in his heyday.

I am not an art connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination. I don't really find much joy in wandering around museums or sitting and staring at a particularly fascinating piece for an hour or two.

However, I definitely have an appreciation for art. Whenever I travel to another country, I inevitably come back with a local piece or two. I like supporting local artists in Venice and Santa Monica. But that's neither here nor there.

When I joined Academic Decathlon in high school (yes, giant nerd alert) one of the artists we studied was Robert Rauschenberg. Rauschenberg made a name for himself in the pop art movement of the 1950s and 60s by crating "combines" - art that married paint and odd, everyday objects to create modern, three dimensional pieces. Rauschenberg's work got me excited about art for the first time in my life, and researching his pieces opened my eyes a bit to the broader world of pop and modern art.

There's something about his work that just made me happy (indeed, I often told friends that one of my goals in life was to own a Rauschenberg original). That's why I'm so upset to report that Robert Rauschenberg passed away yesterday at the age of 82.

Rather than try to describe what he did, I think it's better to just showcase it. I'm confident that his contributions to the art world will remain long after his passing.

"Monogram": perhaps his most famous piece.

Stop (1963)

Page 42, Paragraph 1 (Short Stories) (2000)

Retroatcive 1 (1964)

Pilgrim (1950)

No comments: