The Life and Work of Robert Rauschenberg

The Life and Work of Robert Rauschenberg

In the right hands, virtually any material can be transformed into a work of art. In fact, using recycled scrap metal and other found objects has been one of the leading art movements of the last century. There have been many pioneering artists with the ability to express unconventional creativity (and achieve commercial success) using what other people might see as “junk,” scrap metal included. One of the great mixed-media artists of the 20th century was Robert Rauschenberg, whose life and work continues to inspire unconventional artists to this day.

First Solo Show

Rauschenberg’s first solo exhibition took place in 1951 in New York’s renowned Parsons Gallery of Modern Art. Unfortunately, the show attracted poor reviews from critics and didn’t generate many sales for the young artist.

Rauschenberg’s Combines

Undeterred by the perceived failure of his first solo exhibit, Rauschenberg continued to practice his craft and refine his artistic philosophy. He believed that the idea behind a work of art was more important than the work itself, and that art could be made out of anything, even scrap metal. From 1954 to 1962, Rauschenberg’s “Combines” came to define his mixed-media, found object approach and is considered to be his foremost body of work.

Venice Biennale Grand Prize

In 1964, Rauschenberg became the first American artist to win the Grand Prize at the Venice Biennale. He would enjoy a degree of commercial success and institutional support following the award, but he also remembered the hard times he had experienced as a young artist. His financial hardships led him to establish Change, an organization dedicated to furnishing emergency funds for artists.

Tucson Iron & Metal is proud to support the arts in Southern Arizona. We invite artists of all skill levels and concentrations to visit our scrap metal yard during the first and third Saturday of each month for our Artist’s Paradise event. We also offer a 10% discount on scrap metal with the presentation of a valid student ID. Call us at (520) 884-1554 to learn more about our prices and selection of scrap metal for artists.