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Wednesday, May 21st 2008

12:08 PM

. . . In memory of Robert Rauschenberg

. . . Robert Rauschenberg, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, died Monday in Florida at age 82.


note: i had worked on some 'Assemblages' of Robert's - with Peter Wirth (during the 1980's) in Los Angeles, California . . . Rest in Peace my Friend


. . . from the history of collage from Picasso and Schwitters to Rauschenberg and Cornell, I have come to believe that sometimes the making of a work may be planned

from beginning to end. An image may be made in more than one form, changing according to the needs of the work, but a primary goal in making collage art is to allow

the imagery to transcend the process and speak to the viewer . . .


Copyrighted 2008 - 'G Waves' - lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov


. . . Robert also got involved with producing dance performances and went on a world tour with Cage and Cunningham’s dance company.

In 1968, he was invited by NASA to witness the liftoff of Apollo 11 and to use this theme in his work - see above . . .

 

> a Quote: . . . Robert Rauschenberg: 'The Wild and Crazy Guy'

By RICHARD LACAYO - Thursday, May. 15, 2008

It may be the least of the many things that Robert Rauschenberg will be remembered for. But in summing up the great legacy of the artist,

who died on May 12 at 82, let's pause to remember that he won a 1983 Grammy Award for the cover of the Talking Heads album Speaking in Tongues.

Something about that feels right. It's hard to think of a better match for Rauschenberg, a demiurge of creative disorder, than the band that said,

"Stop making sense"


What Rauschenberg  passed on to everyone who came after him was an idea of art as a very freewheeling transaction with the world.

Marcel Duchamp may have staked out something like this position sooner, but Rauschenberg gave it a more raucous charm. True, many

artists have used it since as permission to make lazy, slapdash work. So did he. But every time you see anyone doing anything that

isn't supposed to be art--and calling it art--Rauschenberg is there.


Born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1925, he made his way to New York City by age 19. All around him was a world of beckoning refuse,

umbrellas, rags, old magazines, even a stuffed eagle--things just waiting to be reunderstood, or maybe just misunderstood in more interesting ways.


Collage and assembly were techniques that had already been used meticulously by Picasso and Kurt Schwitters.

 Rauschenberg jammed his found objects together with a different kind of abandon.

 He produced industrial-strength "combines," big pieces in which worlds collided with a bang.


Monogram, from 1955 to '59, featured a wooden platform on which stood a stuffed Angora goat with a tire around its waist. It was typical.


Rauschenberg's early thinking crystallized in the late 1940s and early '50s at Black Mountain College, where he shared ideas with the composer John Cage,

who was using chance and randomness as operating principles in his art. One famous Cage composition, 4'33", was just four minutes and 33 seconds of nothing,

in which the silence and whatever random noises people heard (or made) in an auditorium became the music.


This was where Rauschenberg began to perfect the idea that he would eventually put this way: "Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made.

(I try to act in that gap between the two.)" By the mid-'50s, he was also in a romantic relationship with the artist Jasper Johns. Trading ideas at top speed,

together they were a pivot point between the psychodramas of the Abstract Expressionists who came just before them and the cool ironies of the Pop artists who came after.


Maybe the most enduring idea Rauschenberg left us is that one great task of art is not so much to impose order but to make the most of chaos.

It's connected somehow to the thing we'll always remember most warmly about him:  that he made not making sense ... make sense.



TALKING HEADS - Speaking In Tongues (Robert Rauschenberg )

Label: Sire Records Company
Catalog#: 92-3771-1
Format: Vinyl, LP, Limited Edition
Country: Europe
Released: 1983
Genre: Electronic, Rock Style: Leftfield, Synth-pop, Indie Rock

Credits: Artwork [Cover/Package] by Robert Rauschenberg

. . . read more on Robert Rauschenberg

 

 

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