Robert Raushenberg, whose career spanned 60 years and multiple dimensions, has always been a harbinger of what’s to come, and what we should experiment with as human artists — not just creatively, but also culturally. His work often blended a variety of media and materials, presaging the way we synthesize different elements in our world today to create new work, and new functions and ideas.
Rauschenberg experimented with photography, sculpture, found objects, text and print to break the rules that governed each discipline and introduce a new palette with which to approach the practice of creative expression. The retrospective of his art, at the SFMOMA until March 25, 2018, illuminates how malleable his vision of collaborative processes was, and how relevant those ideas still are when we consider the broadening reach of technology into art, humanities and design in the present day.
The ways we assert ourselves and share our vision (or revision) of the world as we know it, depends on our ability to communicate across languages, perspectives and customs. Robert Rauschenberg saw the environment as a source of inspiration, and sculpted it to become a channel for conversation and growth. By erasing the rules, he built a new discourse of cross-pollination between means and models. In today’s landscape, where all things combine and inform one another, the only rule is to banish the urge to restrain ourselves.