Central to the American art scene from 1950 until his death in 2008, Rauschenberg was widely regarded as a principal bridge between Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s and Pop Art in the 1960s, but he did not subscribe to any narrow doctrine. Rauschenberg worked in a variety of disciplines and mediums, including printmaking, painting, sculpture, photography, dance, technology and performance art, which have influenced generations of artists. His deep and abiding interest in printmaking facilitated a major revival in the medium, and his achievements in lithography were instrumental in the creation of a contemporary market for prints.
Rauschenberg expressed social, cultural and political ideas through his art. The Stoned Moon series of 1969-70, featured in this exhibition, reflects his artistic response to witnessing the 1969 lift-off of Apollo 11 at Kennedy Space Center at the invitation of NASA. Rauschenberg began to silkscreen paintings in 1962. In 1963 at the age of 37, he was given his first career retrospective by the Jewish Museum in New York and was awarded the Grand Prize for Painting at the 1964 Venice Biennale. He spent much of the remainder of the 1960s dedicated to more collaborative projects, including printmaking, performance, choreography, set design, and art and technology works.
Guest lecturer Dr. Robert S. Mattison spoke at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16. Mattison is the Marshall R. Metzgar Professor of Art History at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. Author of four books, including Robert Rauschenberg: Breaking Boundaries (2003), Mattison has written more than 50 articles and exhibition catalogs about modern art. He is the recipient of the Sears-Roebuck Award for teaching and scholarship and the Jones Lecture Award.