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Robert Rauschenberg
(October 22, 1925 - May 12, 2008) U.S.A.

Robert Rauschenberg

Painter, sculptor, theatrical designer, conceptual & performance artist

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Born in Port Arthur, Texas, as Milton Ernest Rauschenberg, he changed his name to Robert after WWII. Robert imagined himself first as a minister and later as a pharmacist. It wasn't until 1947, while in the U.S. Marines that he discovered his aptitude for drawing and his interest in the artistic representation of everyday objects and people.

After leaving the Marines he studied art in Paris on the G.I. Bill, but quickly became disenchanted with the European art scene. After less than a year he moved to North Carolina, where the country's most visionary artists and thinkers, such as Joseph Albers and Buckminster Fuller, were teaching at Black Mountain College.

On June 21, 1950, he was married to Susan Weil; they divorced in 1952. On July 16, 1951, their son Christopher was born. Robert met Jasper Johns in 1954 and moved to a new studio space in the same neighborhood as Johns in 1955. They worked closely together until 1962. He and Jasper Johns were lovers, from 1955 to 1961. Robert had romantic relationships also with fellow artists Cy Twombly.

Robert Rauschenberg
Robert Rauschenberg, 1968. Photo © Jac. de Nijs/Anefo

Robert was a painter and graphic artist whose work, often categorized as Neo-Dadaist, anticipated and inspired the American pop art movement. He is perhaps best known for working "in the gap between art and life," as he put it, meaning that much of his work blurred the line between everyday objects and art. Robert's "Combines" exemplify this approach: the artist found trash and other objects on the streets of New York City and integrated them into his work. Among many other awards, Robert won a Grammy in 1983 for his album design of Talking Heads' "Speaking in Tongues."

Rauschenberg set up the foundation Change, Inc. for destitute artists in 1970 and a house with art studios in Florida in 1971, where he lives on Captiva Island. Robert continues to work there, bringing his sense of excitement and challenge into the new millennium. He was asked to design the cover of Time magazine's special double issue on the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States.

Robert Rauschenberg died on Captiva Island, Florida. He died of heart failure after a personal decision to go off life support. He was survived by his partner of twenty-five years, artist Darryl Pottorf, his former assistant.

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Source: http://lgbt-history-archive.tumblr.com/ et alii

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