Robert Rauschenberg, born Milton Ernest Rauschenberg on October 22, 1925 in Port Arthur, Texas, started studying pharmacy, but then enlisted in the U.S. Navy for three years. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute and even the Academie Julian in Paris for a time. In 1946 he was admitted into the prestigious Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where Josef Albers, a representative of the Bauhaus school, was lecturing. The main idea Rauschenberg followed was to create works of art that were in direct contrast with what Albers taught. His early series include monochromatic white, black and red depictions, with which he marked the period of transition from abstract expressionism and along with Jasper Johns became known as the forerunner of pop art. In the early ‘50s Rauschenberg devoted himself mainly to the assemblage technique and with the help of different materials created works that combined painting, photography and everyday objects. In the ‘60s he combined items found on the streets of New York and photographs, which he transferred onto canvas with the silkscreen technique. In 1966 he formed together with Billy Klüver, Fred Waldhauer and Robert Whitman, a non-profit organization, called Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT), with the goal of promoting cooperation between artists, scientists and engineers. Under its umbrella they organized many exhibitions and made important contributions to the development of technological art. Robert Rauschenberg, famous as a painter, sculptor, photographer, choreographer and above all an artist that broke the link with abstract expressionism in the ‘50s and announced what was to be the freshness of pop art. He received many prizes for his work; among other achievements, he was the first American to receive the Grand Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1964. He died from heart failure in 2008.
* 1925-10-22, Port Arthur, Texas, USA
+ 2008-05-12, Captiva Island, Florida, USA