Premium

Robert Rauschenberg's Sixties riot is the show of the year – review

5
'Monogram 1955-59' by Robert Rauschenberg, currently on show at Tate Modern
'Monogram 1955-59' by Robert Rauschenberg, part of a new exhibition at Tate Modern Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty

It’s hard to overstate the influence of Robert Rauschenberg over the past 10 years – though this isn’t, I hasten to add, thanks to work produced during that period. The American artist died in 2008, and made his most significant contribution during the Fifties and Sixties, pioneering pop art a decade before Andy Warhol, breaking down barriers between materials and media, and expanding our notions of what art can be. –

Until 2005, he was seen as just one of many influential post-war American artists. But then, an exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art launched Rauschenberg into the stratosphere of contemporary art cool. As the digital art age got into its stride, Rauschenberg’s omnivorous, collaging approach, in which there’s nothing that can’t be spliced, re-framed and re-used, couldn’t have felt more relevant.

Robert Rauschenberg's Triathlon (Scenario), 2005, currently on show at Tate Modern Credit: Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Slightly late to the feast – Rauschenberg-mania probably peaked two...

To continue reading this Premium article

Register for free and access one Premium article per week

Enjoy unlimited access to Premium articles with a subscription

  • Subscriber-only events and experiences
  • Access Premium articles on our mobile app

30-day free trial

then only £2 per week

Unlock all Premium articles for 24 hours. Only £1.

Please review our commenting policy