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MATERIAL WITNESS: A TRIBUTE TO ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG (1925–2008)

GIVING AWAY AND LEAVING BEHIND: Such was the magnanimity of Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008), arguably the most influential figure in postwar American art. Working at the intersection of media old and new, and touching the practices of other artists, musicians, dancers, and even engineers, Rauschenberg collected the world’s effluvia and detritus, its crossed signals and lost messages, only to return them as a gift. Though his protean career came to an end this past May, his offering—which engaged the rise of interdisciplinarity and globalization in all modes of experience—continues to divulge new dimensions. On the occasion of his passing, Artforum asked scholars Thomas Crow, Branden W. Joseph, and Barbara Rose; artists Brice Marden, James Rosenquist, and Robert Whitman; and choreographers Trisha Brown and Merce Cunningham to celebrate Rauschenberg’s largesse in both art and life.

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