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Artwork by Robert Rauschenberg

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About the Artist

Robert Rauschenberg was born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1925 with the given name of Milton. He is of German and Cherokee Indian heritage. In 1942 he graduated high school and enrolled in pharmaceutical studies at the University of Texas. but was drafted by the U.S. Marines and served in World War II. Rauschenberg began his formal art studies at the Kansas City Art Institute. The following year he attended the Academie Julian in Paris under the GI Bill. He returned to the U. S. and began studies under Joseph Albers at Blacks Mountain College in North Carolina. He attended the Art Students League in New York City with Morris Kantor and Vaclav Vytlacil for several years. In his studies in the late 1940s at Black Mountain College. Rauschenberg had met the composer John Cage and dance choreographer Merce Cunningham. In the early 1950s he worked with them in New York as a designer, manager and performer. He also made designs for Paul Taylor's dance company. In 1952 he met Jasper Johns. They became close friends and worked together on window displays for Bonwit Teller and Tiffany. Rauschenberg began experimenting with assemblage and multimedia works in the mid '50s. After nearly a decade of exploring the medium of collage. he was influenced by Andy Warhol to create a series of "Silkscreen Paintings" between 1962 and 1964. Rauschenberg was known for assemblage. conceptualist methods, printmaking, and willingness to experiment with non-artistic materials. Along with Jasper Johns. he is credited with swaying contemporary modern art away from Abstract Expressionism towards Pop Art. In January 1998. the Guggenheim Museum re-affirmed Rauschenberg's success by presenting a retrospective covering his career of more than 50 years. He has won numerous awards at for his work. In April of 2000, the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma honored him with a retrospective of his work.