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Robert Rauschenberg : Photographs, 1949-1965

ISBN: 9781935202523 | 1935202529
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Distributed Art Pub Inc
Pub. Date: 10/31/2011

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Robert Rauschenberg's engagement with photography began in the late 1940s under the tutelage of Aaron Siskind and Hazel Larsen Archer at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Their combined influence was so great that for a time Rauschenberg was unsure whether to pursue painting or photography as a career. Instead he chose both, and found ways to fold photography into his Combines, maintained a practice of photographing friends and family, documented the evolution of works and occasionally dramatized them by inserting himself into the picture frame. As Walter Hopps wrote, "The use of photography has long been an essential device for Rauschenberg's melding of imagery [and] a vital means for Rauschenberg's aesthetic investigations of how humans perceive, select and combine visual information. Without photography, much of Rauschenberg's oeuvre would scarcely exist. "The artist himself affirmed, "I've never stopped being a photographer." This volume gathers and surveys Rauschenberg's numerous uses of photography for the first time. It includes portraits of friends such as Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Merce Cunningham and John Cage, studio shots, photographs used in the Combines series ,silkscreens, photographs of lost works and works in process-allowing us to reimagine almost the entirety of the artist's work in light of his always inventive uses of photography, while also supplying previously unseen glimpses into his social nexus of the 1950s and 60s. Painter, sculptor, printmaker and photographer Robert Rauschenberg(1925-2008) provided a crucial bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Pop art. After studying at Black Mountain College under Aaron Siskind, Hazel Larsen Archer and Josef Albers, Rauschenberg moved to New York where he formed close allegiances with Jasper Johns and Cy Twombly, spearheaded the Neo-Dada explosion, began his groundbreaking Combines, collaborated with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and co-launched the non-profit Experiments in Art and Technology. He died in 2008.


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