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Robert Rauschenberg was an American artist who came to prominence in the 1950s transition from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. Rauschenberg is well-known for his “Combines” of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations. Rauschenberg was both a painter and a sculptor and the Combines are a combination of both, but he also worked with photography, printmaking, papermaking, and performance. Rauschenberg’s approach was sometimes called “Neo Dadaist,” a label he shared with the painter Jasper Johns. He was quoted as saying that he wanted to work “in the gap between art and life” suggesting he questioned the distinction between art objects and everyday objects, reminiscent of the issues raised by the “Fountain,” by Dada pioneer, Marcel Duchamp. At the same time, Johns’ paintings of numerals, flags, and the like, were reprising Duchamp’s message of the role of the observer in creating art’s meaning. Unfortunately Robert Rauschenberg passed away in 2008. For more information, visit the American Artists website here :

This year, the spanish Bilbao Guggenheim Museum presents a retrospective on Rauschenberg work called GLUTS. Basically it is 55 metal sculptures created between 1986 and 1995. Recycling industrial materials represented for the artist a meditation about the capitalism consumerism he experienced in Texas, his home state.

It is until September 12th 2010, a nice visit this summer if you are nearby Bilbao.  You might also consult the museum website: