Rauschenberg Dies at 82

on May 13, 2008 in Uncategorized

“Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made. I try to act in the gap between the two.”-Robert Rauschenberg in The Bride & the Bachelors

Thinking of Deborah Loft today.

She was my art history teacher at College of Marin, an amazing woman who pushed my perspective by introducing me to art and philosophy I’d yet to be exposed to, but at nineteen was perfectly ripe for.

She introduced me to the works of John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Robert Rauschenberg when we read The Bride and the Bachelors, by New Yorker art critic, Calvin Tomkins.

This morning, when I opened the NYT homepage to check on the status of the tragic earthquake in China (Ryan is supposed to travel to Chengdu this Summer for MGS) I let out an audible gasp when I read that

Rauschenberg died last night.

So I today I’ll remember how his works (as well as Cage’s) pushed me to experience with consciousness, and challenged my concepts of beauty.

From his all-white, all-black paintings,

“I always thought of the white paintings as being not passive but very — well, hypersensitive, so that people could look at them and almost see how many people were in the room by the shadows cast, or what time of day it was.”

To his grotesque, yet captivating combines,

“I really feel sorry for people who think things like soap dishes or mirrors or Coke bottles are ugly because they’re surrounded by things like that all day long, and it must make them miserable.”

And innovative use of material,

“A lot of people try to think up ideas. I’m not one. I’d rather accept the irresistible possibilities of what I can’t ignore.”

So thank you Deborah, I meant it when I said “You are my hero.” And thank you Robert–may you rest in peace.

*All quotes are credited to the New York Times. Although most of them originally appeared in The Bride and the Bachelors and possibly
Off the Wall.

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