Robert Rauschenberg: Estate, 1955 silk screen and paint on canvas
Idol of Art and Rebellion from My Mother’s Generation
Okay, I have a lot of work to do today. Project art this summer is screaming at me, as are a host of mundane tasks which will surely leave me screaming even more profusely, if ignored.
Even so, I always begin my day by checking email to make sure that all emergencies and other time critical issues are not left quietly unaddressed. Here, among the daily must-reads in the New York Times listings, an item entitled “Remembering Robert Rauschenberg” catches my attention. It seems he has gone. Today.
And so I can’t go any further in my own work today without taking a moment to reflect upon his; so profoundly influential on so many levels, indeed a giant in the art world at large.
Among the numerous, mind numbing, media driven topics that flood our daily consciousness of late, I am pleased that his passing merits the designation, breaking news. Once in awhile, the really important things get included in an otherwise ominous rush of details.
I recall discovering Rauschenberg’s work in the 1970s as an undergraduate university art student and being ever inspired and highly motivated by the imagery, content and absolute matchlessness of the expression. His work spoke to me as nothing else had। I admired his intelligence and creativity, while simultaneously appreciating the fact that such amazing work could actually occupy coveted spots in various well respected museums and notable, prestigious galleries.
Despite his obviously defiant approach, Rauschenberg had been able to attain high regard and elevated status among the powerful in the art world। I was deeply impressed by the very fine and rich line upon which his life and his work were balanced. Still am.
Robert Rauschenberg truly did make his art work in the gap between art and life.
And now, with his ghost in my heart, I shall return to mine.