Thursday, May 15, 2008

a loss...

I'm a bit behind when it comes to world events and news, etc. so I have only just heard the sad news of artist Robert Rauschenberg's passing. I have always been drawn to his beautiful and colorful collages and prints, but his work and life became even more of an interest to me after I moved to New York and (somehow) scored an internship at the prestigious Sundaram Tagore Gallery, where I had the honor of rubbing shoulders with Mr. Rauschenberg at various events and dinners (the gallery represents his ex-wife and friend, artist Susan Weil). It is always sad when the world loses another talented artist, but especially so when that talent had such a profound influence on 20th Century American Art.

"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."

"Mr. Rauschenberg was instrumental in pushing American art onward from Abstract Expressionism, the dominant movement when he emerged, during the early 1950s. He became a transformative link between artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning and those who came next, artists identified with Pop, Conceptualism, Happenings, Process Art and other new kinds of art in which he played a signal role."

"He was a titan whose ideas have been mined by ensuing generations. He was a herald of the conceptualism that still dominates the contemporary art world."

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