Cover image for Rauschenberg, art and life
Rauschenberg, art and life
Kotz, Mary Lynn.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : H.N. Abrams, 1990.
Physical Description:
320 pages ; 28 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6537.R27 K67 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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Iconoclastic, generous, inventive, impulsive, sensitive, gregarious, prodigious, always amazing these are just some of the words to describe Robert Rauschenberg and the art he has been making for the past 40 years. In this book the only fully illustrated account of his life prepared with his full cooperation we come face to face with Rauschenberg, one of the towering artists of the twentieth century.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Kotz traces the life and career of American artist Robert Rauschenberg through a narrative that investigates the various stages, developments, and experiments of his artistic life. Beginning with some of Rauschenberg's latest activities around the world involving prints created in the cause of cultural exchange, Kotz also covers his work as a theatrical designer and performer. Rauschenberg's more recognizable efforts as painter, printmaker, and sculptor--these media are very much mixed in many of his works--are also well documented, both in Kotz's descriptions and in a series of excellent illustrations. Some details of the artist's private life are noted, but this is a thoroughly professional account that effectively focuses on Rauschenberg's varied creations. Notes, chronology, bibliography; index. ~--John Brosnahan

Publisher's Weekly Review

An energetic Texan from a traditional Southern upbringing, Robert Rauschenberg wanted to be a minister but became an artist instead. His rags-to-riches story?like his art?is quintessentially American. But this biography of the painter, which was originally published in 1990 and has now been revised and expanded, is more descriptive than analytical. Focusing on the inspiration and fabrication of Rauschenberg?s works rather than on critical interpretation, Kotz?s homage glosses over sources of conflict or scandal, such as Rauschenberg?s failed first marriage and his falling-outs with Jasper Johns and Merce Cunningham, two early and important friends and collaborators. (A new chapter does, however, briefly mention Rauschenberg?s problems with alcohol and his fluctuating sexuality.) Instead, the biography cultivates a kind of intimacy with the artist. ?Rauschenberg enjoys the moment,? Kotz writes. ?His days are filled with merriment of one kind or another. But he is a serious man, who perceives suffering and injustice as personal attacks [?] He is so gentle, caring, brilliant, and funny that [his friends and staff] feel for the tragic nature of his obsession [?] For Rauschenberg, there is such joy in work that it supersedes everything else.? Kotz is at her best when describing Rauschenberg at work in his studio, and she does systematically document Rauschenberg?s innovations in painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, printmaking, collage and silkscreen printing, as well as the interactions of dance, theater, music, poetry and technology in his work and the logistics of his collaborative projects, including the Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Exchange (ROCI), which attempts to ?foster a dialogue with other nations through the language of art.? But by far the best part of the volume is its gorgeous reproductions of more than 200 of Rauschenberg?s 6,000-plus works: the best account of Rauschenberg?s output yet. 112 color and 128 b&w illustrations. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

In this newly revised, remarkably engaging, and richly illustrated biography of the Texas-born artist whose works have become synonymous with innovation, Kotz (Upstairs at the White House) presents Rauschenberg's life and 40-year career creating works in a wide range of technologically inspired media. Published on the eve of an exhibition at the Pace-Wildenstein Gallery in New York (January-February 2005), the book offers only one wholly new chapter-the last, which covers the more than 1,751 works that Rauschenberg has made since 1990, when the first edition of this text was released. The book features a brief foreword and more extensive end matter, including a chronology, a bibliography, and lists of selected awards, honors, museum collections, and exhibitions-all of which have been fully updated. Large public, academic, and special libraries not owning the first edition or needing additional copies of this classic will want to purchase. Highly recommended.-Cheryl Ann Lajos, Free Lib. of Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Mary Lynn Kotz, author of Upstairs at the White House (1974), Marvella, a Personal Journey (1979), and A Passion for Equality (1977), has written what should become the definitive text on Robert Rauschenberg and his art of the past 40 years. With the artist's cooperation and with interviews of everyone who was important to Rauschenberg over the course of six decades, Kotz has managed to compile a personalized and up-to-date biography of one of the towering geniuses of the 20th century, presenting a richly impressive portrait of the artist with several hundred illustrations, 92 of which are in color. Pictures of the artist, his family, and friends are interspersed with photographs of scores of his works of art: paintings, combines, prints, and constructions. A special feature of the book is the many reproductions, seen for the first time, of his most recent and significant project--ROCI (Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange)--a continually evolving body of work developed and exhibited worldwide. Kotz has included a copious selection of material in the endnotes, a chronology, a collections and exhibitions section, and a bibliography. Highest praise and recommendation for all libraries. -G. A. Anderson, Hendrix College