photograph Dennis Hopper, 1966 »
Robert Rauschenberg, the irrepressibly prolific American artist who time and again reshaped art in the 20th century, died Monday night. He was 82.
Mr. Rauschenberg’s work gave new meaning to sculpture with his his "Combines" of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations. The Combines are both painting and sculpture.
Rauschenberg had a tendency to pick up the trash that interested him on the streets of New York City and bringing it back to his studio to use it in this works. He claimed he "wanted something other than what I could make myself and I wanted to use the surprise and the collectiveness and the generosity of finding surprises. And if it wasn't a surprise at first, by the time I got through with it, it was. So the object itself was changed by its context and therefore it became a new thing." “Canyon,” for instance, consisted of a stuffed bald eagle attached to a canvas. “Monogram” was a stuffed Angora goat girdled by a tire atop a painted panel. “Bed” entailed a quilt, sheet and pillow, slathered with paint, as if soaked in blood, framed on the wall. They all became icons of postwar modernism.
A painter, photographer, printmaker, choreographer, onstage performer, set designer and, in later years, even a composer, Mr. Rauschenberg defied the traditional idea that an artist stick to one medium or style. He pushed, prodded and sometimes reconceived all the mediums in which he worked.
Building on the legacies of Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell and others, he thereby helped to obscure the lines between painting and sculpture, painting and photography, photography and printmaking, sculpture and photography, sculpture and dance, sculpture and technology, technology and performance art — not to mention between art and life.
He lived and worked in New York City and on Captiva Island, Florida until his death on May 12, 2008.
He will be missed.
sources wiki NYT