Robert Rauschenberg (born 1925) was a prominent member of the American Post-War avant-garde. He attended the Black Mountain College in North Carolina alongside John Cage and Merce Cunningham.
In his early years in New York, he became very close friends with the painter Jasper Johns, who greatly influenced his work. In the 1950s, Rauschenberg began to incorporate any material he could scavenge into his combines (sculptural collages) by incorporating found objects, traditional brush strokes, photographs, and any other materials he encountered. This interplay between materials defined Rauschenberg's entire career; he also experimented with silk screening and solvent transfers on a diverse selection of surfaces, as he explored the boundaries of traditional art forms and incorporated the vast visual offerings of American culture into his work.
Today, Rauschenberg’s works are held in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Kunstmuseum Basel, among others.
- Rauschenberg's work was a major inspiration for conceptual artist Ed Ruscha early his career. Ruscha wrote, "The work of [Jasper] Johns and Rauschenberg marked a departure in the sense that their work was premeditated, and Abstract Expressionism was not … So I began to move towards things that had more of a premeditation." View his work.
- Rauschenberg is often associated with Pop Art, but his artistic philosophy is arguably more aligned with Neo-Dada, which sought to narrow the gap between art and everday life. Jim Dine is another Neo-Dada practitioner who gets grouped with Pop. View his work.