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Robert Rauschenberk and abstract expressionism (Essay Sample)

The paper should explain the style of artist Robert Rauschenberg and compare/contrast him to the Abstract Expressionist art genre. Talk specifically about how they differ in the treatment of surface and the picture plane. Please use specific example of Robert Rauschenberg's paintings (preferably the 'Combine's work) and develop a clear thesis question. I've included some notes I have made from books, you may use some of my notes in the essay (they are mainly direct quotes, so please paraphrase). Also if you can find the following sources online, they would probably help (they are readings from my coursepack), let me know if you need more bibliographic information to find them: "The Journal of aesthetics and art criticsm (John Adkins Richardson), "Towards a Newer Laocoon (Clement Greenberg), "Reflections on the state of criticism" (Leo Steinberg), "Art in theory:1900-1990" (Joseph W. Branden), "Bell alters of sacrifice:remembering Basquiat" (Hooks) source..
Robert Rauschenberk and abstract expressionism
Robert Rauschenberk was a renowned artist who became a prominent figure in the 1950s and was famously known for his Combines art work. This form of artistry involved employment of nontraditional objects and materials to come up with innovative combinations. It was a form of assemblage art which made use of large physical objects in addition to the normal art painting depicting a form of collage. His focus was on the realities of life and this new approach to art opened opportunities for future artists in the modern art world. His works depict a form of transition from Abstract Expressionism and as such categorized as a form of Pop art which combined paintings and objects redefining contemporary art. Abstract Expressionist art genre on the other hand was a representation of abstractions which focused on the psychological and sensual objects which avoided representation of reality. Majority of artists of this genre relied on abstract art as a form of communication of their philosophical and spiritual beliefs. They made use of line, color and abstract shapes to express their feelings.
Rauschenberg was interested in the popular American culture. As such, he transformed the Abstract Expressionists’ style and developed a new style that emphasized on collage which he expanded by incorporating objects which are three-dimensional which he named combines. This new technique contributed to modern art which incorporated creative expression. He used images from current events which he gathered from newspapers and magazines to form this collage. He used these elements to bring out an aspect of symbolism and imagery. An example of his work is his painting Retroactive. This painting depicts the image of an astronaut parachuting back to earth but ends up landing in an upturned box of forbidden fruit. He uses this painting to symbolize how in the modern world man’s evil potential has increased. He adds to this metaphor by showing what the astronaut is going back to a symbolism of an industrially polluted world.
He used different shapes, color, texture, arrangement and composition in his art works to voice out different messages. By use of these techniques, the viewer is at a position to gauge what the artist wants to illustrate in his painting. Color will symbolize feelings of anger, joy, hatred or sadness. The texture of the painting also characterizes the way the artist voices out his expression. Rauschenberg expertly uses all these traits in his works and it through this that his works bring out more the reality of the artwork that viewers appreciate and relate to in normal life.
Art can is an expression of one’s thoughts or feelings about a certain phenomenon whether it is spurred by one’s surrounding or not. Regardless, there tends to be a form of disparity between Rauschenberg’s work of art and those of Abstract Expressionism. One form of difference...
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