Robert Rauschenberg: Breaking Boundaries

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9780300099317: Robert Rauschenberg: Breaking Boundaries

Robert Rauschenberg, one of the most prolific and influential artists of the postwar period, has created an astonishing variety of works during a career spanning more than fifty years. To illuminate the meaning of Rauschenberg’s art and the reasons behind his artistic choices, Robert Mattison in this book focuses closely on a small selection of the artist’s projects. Mattison offers an interpretation of Rauschenberg’s output that is both original and uniquely insightful, based on extensive research and first-hand observation of the artist at work in his studio.
Like Rauschenberg’s own work, the book ranges across a variety of disciplines. Mattison relates the artist’s output to the visual arts, politics, technology, dance, urban theory, and other intriguing contemporary issues. The book examines Rauschenberg’s working process, the effect of his dyslexia on his art, his seminal Combine paintings of the 1950s, fascination with the “space race,” and collaboration with well-known choreographer Trisha Brown. A final chapter explores the art Rauschenberg exhibited in Chile during the dangerous and repressive rule of dictator Augusto Pinochet.

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About the Author:

Robert S. Mattison is Marshall R. Metzgar Professor of Art History at Lafayette College.

From Booklist:

Rauschenberg has been so prolific that few critics have a handle on his vast output or the sensibility and ideas behind it. Enter intrepid art historian Mattison, who observes Rauschenberg hard at work in his enormous, immaculate, high-tech Florida studio, where this master of intuition and spontaneity, who is actually as organized and efficient as an emergency room physician, works with a crew of energetic assistants at a breathless pace. Collaborations and an atmosphere conducive to the unexpected are crucial to Rauschenberg's "unfettered creativity," Mattison realizes, and the juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated images that characterize Rauschenberg's work reflects his keen interest in the flux and multifariousness of life. Mattison also analyzes Rauschenberg's 20-year collaboration with choreographer Trisha Brown, parses Rauschenberg's attunement to urban life and fascination with space exploration, ponders the aesthetic implications of the artist's dyslexia, and chronicles Rauschenberg's wildly ambitious and highly controversial project entailing travel to and the making and exhibiting of art in 11 countries. Mattison's unique approach greatly enhances our appreciation for this taken-for-granted artist and his phenomenally complex art. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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