Robert Rauschenberg, ‘People Have Enough Trouble Without Being Intimidated By An Artichoke’, 1979, Robert Fontaine Gallery

​Born Milton Ernest Rauschenberg in 1925 in Port Arthur, Texas, Robert Rauschenberg was an American artist who came to prominence in the 1950s transition from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. Rauschenberg studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Académie Julian in Paris, France. In 1948 Rauschenberg and his wife Susan Weil decided to attend Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where he studied under Josef Albers. Rauschenberg is well-known for his "Combines" of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations. While the Combines are both painting and sculpture, Rauschenberg also worked with photography, printmaking, papermaking, and performance. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1993. He also won a Grammy Award for his album design of 'Talking Heads' album, Speaking in Tongues. Rauschenberg lived and worked in New York City and on Captiva Island, Florida until his death, May 12, 2008.

Robert Rauschenberg has had internationally acclaimed shows in numerous parts of the world. His major exhibitions include: "Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective," the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1997) (traveled to the Menil Collection, Contemporary Arts Museum and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne and the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, through 1999); "Combines," the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2005) (traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Moderna Museet, Stockholm, through 2007); and "Gluts," the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (2009) (traveled to the Tinguely Museum, Basel, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and Villa e Collezione Panza, Varese in 2010.)

Signature: Signed, numbered and dated in pencil, lower margin Printed by Styria Studio, Inc., with the blind stamp lower left. Published by Multiples, Inc., New York

About Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg’s enthusiasm for popular culture and, with his contemporary Jasper Johns, his rejection of the angst and seriousness of the Abstract Expressionists led him to search for a new way of painting. A prolific innovator of techniques and mediums, he used unconventional art materials ranging from dirt and house paint to umbrellas and car tires. In the early 1950s, Rauschenberg was already gaining a reputation as the art world’s enfant terrible with works such as Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953), for which he requested a drawing (as well as permission) from Willem de Kooning, and proceeded to rub away the image until only ghostly marks remained on the paper. By 1954, Rauschenberg completed his first three-dimensional collage paintings—he called them Combines—in which he incorporated discarded materials and mundane objects to explore the intersection of art and life. “I think a picture is more like the real world when it’s made out of the real world,” he said. In 1964 he became the first American to win the International Grand Prize in Painting at the Venice Biennale. The 1/4 Mile or Two Furlong Piece (1981–98), a cumulative artwork, embodies his spirit of eclecticism, comprising a retrospective overview of his many discrete periods, including painting, fabric collage, sculptural components made from cardboard and scrap metal, as well as a variety of image transfer and printing methods.

American, 1925-2008, Port Arthur, Texas, based in New York and Captiva Island, Florida