Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rauschenburg Memory

Last evening, I learned via the TV news that Robert Rauschenburg had died. In the early 90's, Sue Rose and I were in Dallas, visiting Sue's mom in Highland Park. She told us that Rauschenburg was Artist In Residence at the SMU Meadows museum, and had installed a small, but wonderful exhibit of his recent works. We walked into the museum and were delighted to see the artist speaking to a large group of highschoolers. We learned from a teacher standing nearby that this group had dyslexia. Rauschenburg talked about his own dyslexia and how he'd overcome this. He spoke about his method of creating art; he would collect while walking, discarded items that he found interesting within a certain area of Manhattan, and then base his piece on one or more of those items.
Many of the works in the exhibit used photo transfers. After his talk, I asked him how those were done, and he was so helpful in talking about various solvents, papers, et al. We also chatted and laughed about his stay at the highly rated hotel, was it River Oaks?, how he'd left the patio doors open only to find that a whole swarm of insects then invaded. I asked about his home on Captiva, and he described his artist's Paradise; that he'd greatly enjoyed his world trek, but was so glad to come home to Captiva. He even graciously signed the exhibit catalogue. A charming man, a superb, ground-breaking artist; he'll be missed.

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