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Robert Rauschenberg Passes Away at 82

May 14, 2008

On Monday night American art legend Robert Rauschenberg passed away. He was 82.

Rauschenberg was an artist in the widest sense, refusing to limit himself to a single medium. He often combined disparate media to create unique and unusual objects and images that upset the hegemony of the Abstract Expressionist status quo. In his words, he sought to create art that occupied “the gap between art and life.”

Relative to those of us living in Chicago, he collaborated with Merce Cunningham’s dance company, creating work simultaneously with a performance.

Breaking down the supposed barriers between genres and media set the stage for younger artists to use a variety of methods in their art production. One contemporary artist that always reminds me of Rauschenberg’s influence is Stanley Donwood, most well known for his artwork for all of radiohead’s albums. Below is Rauschenberg’s Brace, 1962, oil and silkscreen on canvas.

Above is Donwood’s cover for radiohead’s ok computer, 1997.

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