Few artists in history have changed the rules the way Robert Rauschenberg, who died Monday at age 82, did.
By incorporating found objects (a pillow, a stuffed goat…) into his paintings, Rauschenberg challenged contemporary art and artists to connect their work to real life. And he did it while avoiding irony or pop culture iconography.
Maxwell Anderson, director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art knew the artist.
“I got to know Rauschenberg when the Whitney acquired one of his most ambitious works, titled “Synapsis Shuffle”, in 2000,” Anderson told IBJ. “ It was vintage Rauschenberg, in its mixture of contemporary imagery and in its subversion of convention by making the arrangement of 52 paintings a kind of poker game.”
Anderson adds: “We will all miss his whimsy, ingenuity, and provocative Southern spirit. Younger artists could take a leaf from his book, take chances, and care more about what inspires them than how they are judged in the marketplace.”