Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925–2008) was renowned as an enfant terrible, famous for his work in the 1950s, in the period between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Born in Port Arthur, TX, Rauschenberg was barely exposed to art until he attended school. His most significant art education took place at Black Mountain College, which exposed him to influential artists such as Josef Albers (American/German, 1888–1976) and John Cage (American, 1912–1992). In his early years in New York, he gained attention for his Black Paintings and White Paintings; during this time, he also became very close friends with the painter Jasper Johns (American, b.1930), who greatly influenced Rauschenberg's work.

In the 1950s, Rauschenberg began to incorporate any material he could scavenge into his combines (sculptural collages) by incorporating found objects, traditional brush strokes, photographs, and any other materials he encountered. This interplay between materials defined Rauschenberg's entire career; he also experimented with silk screening and solvent transfers on a diverse selection of surfaces, as he explored the boundaries of traditional art forms and incorporated the vast visual offerings of American culture into his work such as Signs. Rauschenberg also developed an interest in art activism: his “Experiments in Art and Technology” (EAT) initiative encouraged collaborations between artists and scientists; the “Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange” (ROCI) project allowed him to visit locations worldwide to work with artists and exhibit his own art; and the non-profit “Change, Inc.” helps struggling artists pay medical expenses. Rauschenberg died of heart failure in Captiva, FL, in 2008.

Timeline

1925
Born in Port Arthur, TX
1947
Studied at the Académie Julian, Paris, France
1947–1948
Studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, KS
1948–1949
Studied at the Black Mountain College, Asheville, NC under Josef Albers. Met Cunningham and John Cage
1949–1952
Studied at the Art Students League in New York, NY
1952–1953
Traveled to Europe and North Africa with Cy Twombly
1953
Met Jasper Johns who became a great influence to his work. The two artists shared neighboring studios.
1962
Made his first lithograph at Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) in West Islip, NY
1964
Grand prize in painting at the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1966
Experimented with electronics in his art
1970
Created the first Earth Day poster
1970
Established a permanent residence and studio in Captiva, FL
1984
Began "The Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange"
1990
Started The Rauschenberg Foundation, a non-profit entity devoted to projects that increase public awareness about subjects of vital interest to the artist
1990
Created the 20th anniversary Earth Day poster
1985–1991
ROCI—Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange
2008
Died in Captiva, FL

Exhibitions

2013
Contemporary Art - Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL
Rauschenberg at Gemini - Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA
The Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns - Barbican Art Gallery, London
The Artist and the Poet - The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
The Pop Object: The Still Life Tradition in Pop Art - Acquavella Galleries, Inc., New York
The 60s In The Guggenheim Collections. From Informel To Pop Art - Peggy Guggenheim
Robert Rauschenberg - Jammers - Gagosian Gallery, London (England)
Multiples - Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, OR
2012
Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI (solo)
Early Photographs - Gagosian Gallery, London (England)
North African Collages and Scatole Personali c. 1952 - Craig F. Starr Gallery, New York City, NY
Robert Rauschenberg and His Contemporaries: Works from the Collections of Martina Hamilton and Hamilton College - GRAM - Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
Robert Rauschenberg - 5 Decades of Printmaking - Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2011
Rauschenberg: Prints from Universal Limited Art Editions, 1962-2008 - Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Norman, OK
ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG - Gagosian Gallery, Paris
Rock, Paper, Scissor - Jim Kempner Fine Art, New York City, NY
Selected Prints By Robert Rauschenberg From The Mfah Collection - MFAH - Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX
Robert Rauschenberg - Devin Borden Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston, TX
Open Score By Robert Rauschenberg - Seventeen Gallery, London (England)
Robert Rauschenberg: Botanical Vaudeville - Inverleith House, Edinburgh (Scotland)
Rauschenberg Print - RH Gallery, New York City, NY
2010
Signs of the Times: Robert Rauschenberg's America, MMoCA, The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI (solo)
Uma Aventura Moderna - Coleção de Arte Renault, Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Black Cube Gallery, Barcelona
Rauschenberg at Gemini, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA (solo)
2009
Robert Rauschenberg: Gluts, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy (solo)
Au Courant: Robert Rauschenberg‘s Currents, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN (solo)
The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia: 1860-1989, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
2008
Robert Rauschenberg: Runts, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, Artist-Citizen: Posteres for a Better World, Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, Ft. Myers, FL (solo)
Whatever is There is a Truth, Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WI (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, The Lotus Series, Larissa Goldston Gallery, New York City, NY;Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg: Prints/Editions 1962-78, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg in the Collection of the Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA (solo)
Rauschenberg: Booster, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA (solo)
Rauschenberg, University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg - Travelling '70 - '76, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg: Scenarios, Griffin Contemporary, Santa Monica, CA (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, graficá 1976-2000, La Caja Negra, Madrid, Spain (solo)
2007
Rauschenberg. Express, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain (solo)
Nothing and everything, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Robert Rauschenberg: Cardboards and Related Pieces, The Menil Collection, Houston, TX (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (solo)
Selected Works 1974 - 1999, Michael Schultz Gallery, Berlin, Germany (solo)
Three Decades, Galleri Faurschou, Beijing, China (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen, Denmark (solo)
Let the World In, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg: em viagem 70-76, Museu Serralves - Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto, Portugal (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, Galerie Lelong, Paris, France (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, Galerie Jamileh Weber, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
2006
Robert Rauschenberg, Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, South Corea (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, MOCA THE GEFFEN CONTEMPORARY, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg: Spread and Scale, Galerie Jamileh Weber, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Art from Life: Prints by Robert Rauschenberg, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, Stanford, CA (solo)
Focus Room. Robert Rauschenberg, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg: Scenarios and Short Stories, Jepson Center for the Arts, Savannah, GA (solo)
Rauschenberg: Prints, Jim Kempner Fine Art, New York, NY (solo)
2005
Rauschenberg - Rosenquist - Lichtenstein, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, UK (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, Galerie Terminus, Munich, Germany (solo)
Dialogues: Duchamp, Cornell, Johns, Rauschenberg, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Robert Rauschenberg: on and off the wall, Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain Nice, Nice, France (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg-Combines, organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg: Scenarios and Short Stories, Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, Lafayette, IN (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, MAM - Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL (solo)
2004
Mostly Photography - Art since 1980 from the Collection, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA
What´s modern?, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY
Made in USA popart, Galerie Laurent Strouk, Paris, France
Robert Rauschenberg, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, UK (solo)
15 Minutes of Fame: 20 Years of Pop Prints, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Robert Rauschenberg, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Robert Rauschenberg: Current Scenarios, Wadsworth Museum of Art, Hartford, CT (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg: Scent and Pull, Kennedy Museum of Art, Athens, OH
2003
Popular, Pop & Post-Pop: Color Screenprints 1930s to Now, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg - Prints & Unique Work, Jim Kempner Fine Art, New York, NY (solo)
2002
An American Legacy, A Gift to New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Robert Rauschenberg - Les dix dernières années, Musée Maillol - Fondation Dina Vierny, Paris, France (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg - Short Stories, Waddington Galleries, London, UK (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg: Recent Work, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (solo)
2001
Modernism & Abstraction: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
Robert Rauschenberg - Ruminations, Völcker & freunde gallery, Berlin, Germany (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg: Marrakech, La Caja Negra, Madrid, Spain (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg: Short Stories, Galerie Jamileh Weber, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
2000
Robert Rauschenberg - Apogamy Pods, PaceWildenstein, New York City, NY(solo)
Robert Rauschenberg - Darryl Pottorf, Galerie Tanit, Munich, Germany
Robert Rauschenberg - Synapsis Shuffle, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (solo)
Highlights of Late 20th-Century Art from the Sydney and Frances Lewis Collection, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
Robert Rauschenberg: Recent Work, Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, Ft. Myers, FL (solo)
1999
Robert Rauschenberg - Malerei, Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen, Denmark
Robert Rauschenberg - Obra gráfica (1967-1979), Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, Cuenca, Spain (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg - The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA(solo)
Robert Rauschenberg - Photographs, Galleria Rubin, Milano, Italy (solo)
1998
Robert Rauschenberg. Obra gráfica 1967-1979, Museu d’Art Espanyol Contemporani (Fundación Juan March), Palma de MallorcaSpain (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg - Retrospectiva, Museo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, Bilbao, Spain (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg - Anagrams (A Pun), Galerie Jamileh Weber, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
1997
Retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY in collaboration with the Menil Collection, Houston, TX Travelled to the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain)(solo)
1996
Robert Rauschenberg - Anagrams, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY;Galerie Jamileh Weber, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg: Major Printed Works, 1962 1995, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg: Sculpture, Museum of Contemporary Art - North Miami (MOCA), Miami, FL (solo)
1995
Robert Rauschenberg: Sculpture, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX (solo)
Quake in Paradise - A Labyrinth, Galerie Jamileh Weber, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Rauschenberg, Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France
1994
Albers, Rauschenberg, Stella - Graphik 1967-1970, Galerie Renée Ziegler, Zurich
1993
Robert Rauschenberg, Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain (solo)
1992
Robert Rauschenberg: Wax Fire Works, Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1991
Robert Rauschenberg: The Early 1950s, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (solo)
1990
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Robert Rauschenberg Soviet American Array, Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA (solo)
1989
Robert Rauschenberg Bellini Series, Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA (solo)
1988
Rauschenberg, 34 Drawings for Dante's Inferno and Selections from the Drawings Collection, MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY (solo)
1987
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
1986
Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange, Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Robert Rauschenberg: Photographs 1949–1984, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX (solo)
1985
Rauschenberg, Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France
Robert Rauschenberg, Fundación Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, Fundación Juan March, Madrid, Spain (solo)
1984
Rauschenberg/Performance, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX (solo)
1982
Rauschenberg in China, MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY (solo)
1981
Rauschenberg in the Rockies, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France (solo)
1980
Robert Rauschenberg, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany (solo)
1970–1971
Stoned moon series, Lithographien 1969-1970, Galerie Renée Ziegler, Zurich, Switzerland
1970
Robert Rauschenberg : prints 1948-1970, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN (solo)
1969
Robert Rauschenberg in Black and White, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Robert Rauschenberg: Selections, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX (solo)
1968
Rauschenberg: Soundings, MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY (solo)
1965
Rauschenberg: 34 Drawings for Dante's Inferno, MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (solo)
Robert Rauschenberg, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX (solo)
1964
Robert Rauschenberg, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK (solo)
1963
Retrospective, Jewish Museum, New York, NY (solo)
1951
Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY (solo)

Public Collections

Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany
Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art - Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Musée d´Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain Nice, Nice, France
Les Abattoirs de Toulouse, Toulouse, France
Fundación Joan Miró, Barcelona , Spain
Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA, Barcelona, Spain
Museo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, Bilbao, Spain
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain
Tate Britain, London, UK
MOCA - Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY
MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
Austin Museum of Art - AMOA, Austin, TX
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago - MCA Chicago, Chicago, IL
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA
The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
The Menil Collection, Houston, TX

Literature

2009
Brown, Trisha and Mimi Thompson. Robert Rauschenberg: Gluts. New York, NY: Guggenheim Publications, 2009 (catalogue)
2007
Selected Works 1974 - 1999. Berlin, Germany: Michael Schultz Gallery, 2007 (catalogue)
2006
Robert Rauschenberg Combines. Paris, France: Editions du Centre Pompidou, 2006 (catalogue)
2003
Ishagpour, Youssef. Rauschenberg, Le monde comme images de reproduction. Tours, France: Farrago, 2003
1993
Krauss, Rosalind. "Rauschenberg et l’image matérialisée”, in L’originalité de l’avant-garde et autres mythes modernistes, Paris, France: Macula, 1993
1981
Rauschenberg photographe. Paris, France: Editions du Centre Pompidou, 1981 (catalogue)