Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Robert Rauschenberg, 1925-2008

The New York Times obituary.

Labels: great artists


Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

it's now true
god is dead..;)

5/13/2008 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOOOOOOOOO! I am devastated.

5/13/2008 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous RonnieO said...

Of course, I saw this coming. Not in any prescient way. It just had to be coming.

Somehow, Rauschenberg is the only artist (or “celebrity,” really) whose inevitable death would percolate to the surface now and then and trouble me immeasurably.

I wasn’t sure if he was my favorite artist of his time, and I’m not sure now, and even if it’s a silly question in the first instance, I’ve wrestled with the thought from time to time. Regardless, I do know that I have enjoyed his body of work more than any other artist’s body of work. I could pick up any one of my many books about his art, open any page, and simply be entranced. And, thankfully, the pictures in the books—and the critical dialogue about his work—never bested the real works themselves, which I was lucky to see in a number of shows over the years. If the works themselves weren’t pure genius (and they often were!), they were always imbued with a very special type of genius.

Rauschenberg’s inevitable death bothered me primarily because, to put it bluntly, I knew I would never have any sort of direct contact with him, and I never going to be able to tell him how greatly he impacted my life. Still, I’m very thankful that my life meshed with his life, at least in time, so that over the years I could watch his art develop and change and be could be so awed by him and his many accomplishments.

5/13/2008 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised to find myself in tears over this. No artist meant more to me.

5/13/2008 02:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the chance to meet him when I worked as a printmaker in LA. He was kind man, esp compared to some of the other artists I met through that job. Also I can never have white wine with ice cubes, or see it for that matter, without thinking of him and smiling.

I am upset though that I never got to see Monochrome without the giant plexi box around it. That piece alone may be responsible for my most affecting artistic awakening.

5/13/2008 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

beautiful words ronnieo, i agree completely. Regardless of the medium, all artists working today owe a great deal to him. He was the first artist to completely shock me. After finding out about him, I was never the same.

And now we are left with the work and the great stories behind it (erased Dekooning, the Bed, the goat, etc.) Thank you RR!!!

5/13/2008 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Thank you Robert

5/13/2008 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger atomicelroy said...

Oh No!
I really dug RR. I have a print of his that I treasure.

5/13/2008 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger kalm james said...

Of course I’d seen him at a couple of his openings at Castelli’s in the early eighties, a gaggle of groupies around him. But one afternoon I was on my lunch break from driving the delivery truck at Utrecht (the art supply store) strolling through one of the fabric stores that used to be on the south end of Union square when I bumped into him. We were both admiring some flashy striped velvet. We chatted briefly and he invited me back to his studio, I rebuffed him thinking it was a come on, and anyway, I had to get back to work.

Later, Kate and I were visiting the studio of Al Taylor. When we were about to leave to go back to Brooklyn Al asked if we’d like to go drinking with Bob and Cy. We said no, and were half way down the block when we realized he was talking about Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly. Take it from me, sometimes you should just go, take a risk, see what happens, he'd dig that!


5/13/2008 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger CAP said...

Yeah he was one of the really greats. I don't even believe in really greats. But I know he was one.

5/13/2008 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger CAP said...

It's funny coming after your You-Tube below, that song seems almost to prepare me for his departure.

5/13/2008 10:40:00 PM  
Anonymous It's funny coming said...

it was a come on

5/14/2008 12:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes! All he wanted was your body James!


That's ignorant.


5/14/2008 07:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who knows, maybe he did want James' body. I wasn't there and neither were you. No need to take a shot at James over his remembrance. Ultimately, I could care less if it was or wasn't a come on. Who cares. I'm just glad James shared his memories- and I wish there were more people able to share their remembrances. Most of all, I wish I was one of them. So many artists owe a huge debt to him.

5/14/2008 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...


5/14/2008 05:28:00 PM  

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