Robert Rauschenberg. A Revolutionary Artist Who Redefined Art

Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) wasn’t your typical artist.  He wasn’t content with blank canvases or following established rules.  Instead, he revolutionised the art world with his groundbreaking “Combines” and his unwavering commitment to experimentation.




A Pioneer of the Post-War Era


Emerging in the post-war period, Rauschenberg found himself surrounded by a world yearning for a new artistic language.  Abstract Expressionism held sway, but Rauschenberg felt its limitations.  He craved a more inclusive and dynamic form of expression, one that reflected the complexities of the modern world.  As he famously stated, 


“Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made. I try to act in that gap between the two.”


The Birth of the “Combines”


This desire for innovation led to Rauschenberg’s most iconic creations: the “Combines.”  These hybrid works defied categorisation.  They weren’t paintings, nor were they sculptures.  Instead, they were a thrilling marriage of both, incorporating everyday objects like newspaper clippings, fabrics, and even street trash.  Rauschenberg saw beauty and potential in the mundane, transforming them into powerful artistic statements.  He once said,

“I think a painting is more like the real world if it’s made out the real world.”


Beyond the Canvas: A Multifaceted Artist


Rauschenberg’s artistic thirst wasn’t quenched by the “Combines” alone.  He was a prolific artist who explored a wide range of mediums, including photography, printmaking, and performance art.  His silkscreen prints, in particular, showcase his innovative techniques and thought-provoking imagery.  Fellow artist Jasper Johns, referencing Rauschenberg’s approach, said,

“You don’t make art, you arrange it.” 

This perfectly encapsulates Rauschenberg’s ability to curate the world around him, weaving found objects and everyday materials into powerful visual statements.


A Legacy of Experimentation and Challenge


Robert Rauschenberg’s legacy lies in his unwavering commitment to experimentation.  He challenged the very definition of art, pushing boundaries and inspiring generations of artists to come.  His work continues to spark conversation and inspire awe, reminding us that art can be anything we dare to imagine.  As Rauschenberg himself said,

“Art is what you can get away with.”

This provocative quote captures his audacious approach, defying convention and redefining artistic expression.


Explore Rauschenberg’s Works at The Whisper Gallery.


Intrigued by Rauschenberg’s revolutionary vision?  The Whisper Gallery is proud to offer a selection of signed prints by this groundbreaking artist.  Discover how Rauschenberg’s artistry continues to inspire and challenge perceptions.


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