Art AV Club: Robert Rauschenberg

This week’s Art AV Club: Robert Rauschenberg explores his contributions to art, our discussions about it, and how his work impacts mine.

I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole recently, like you do. I took an online class and one of the bonus materials was a video about Cy Twombly. After I watched it, I wondered if there were videos on other Abstract Expressionists. And just like all trips down the YouTube rabbit hole, I surfaced several hours later awed by the amazing content and looking for snacks.

Since social media doesn’t allow for easy sharing of this kind of material, I decided to make it a recurring feature on my blog. And just like that, Art AV Club was born! On Mondays, I’ll be posting videos of or about artists and sharing a bit about why what they do intrigues me. I hope you’ll go on this journey with me. Robert Rauschenberg who straddles the line of the Abstract Expressionist, Pop Art, and Neo-Dada art movements is my pick this week for Art AV Club.

Rauschenberg, Rauschenberg, Rauschenberg

I love the how the speakers breakdown his use of the everyday object. It’s intriguing to me how he worked to pair down his collages to the most minimal bits and still achieve his desired effect. That erased DeKooning drawing makes me feel all kinds of ways and I love the nature of that collaboration, the trust in implies.

No, nothing’s taught in art schools

A couple of things strike me in this video. First, the few sentences you hear from RR he talks about leaving art school because they weren’t doing anything interesting. Second, the historian at the end talking about RR trying to stay forever young through the medium of his art.

Collage is my passion

I have been gluing paper together my whole life. First I glued bits in my scrapbook when I was very young. Then I glued things in slam books as a young teen. As an older teen I started making collages officially. I don’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t glueing things together. Taking elements and pairing them. Expressing myself and my state of being with them. So often the gluing releases the chaos within me allowing for a more calm internal landscape.

Looking back to the time I was a graphic designer, the work I was most drawn to was the deconstruction and reconstruction of type and communicating with seemingly disparately combined items to make a point. I couldn’t see it at the time but that was the work that most interested me but that I was never allowed to do while working for clients.

When I really dug into making art again as an adult, I gravitated to collage. I really connect with Rauchenberg in that and his use of everyday materials. Taking the pieces of my life and trying to understand them by glueing them together and sharing them with others.

You can read more about my process here, here, and here.

Go exploring on your own

I hope you enjoyed this Art AV Club and that it leads you to further explore the works of Robert Rauschenberg. If you’d like to learn more about him, check out his foundation website. I’ll be bringing another artist next week so check back on Monday. If there’s an artist you’d like my take on, drop me a note and I’ll put them on the list!