All posts tagged: robert rauschenberg

Made-Up History: Robert Rauschenberg’s “Bed,” 1955

One of my favorite artists is Robert Rauschenberg. The first Rauschenberg that I consciously “saw” was “Bed,” which was on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. It appealed to me in a very visceral and decidedly aesthetic way. I couldn’t explain why I liked it; I just did. “Bed” is a combine which is what Rauschenberg called pieces he made where he brought together the concepts of a found object and a painting (or a flat, wall-bound work). Rauschenberg worked as a costume and stage designer between 1955-1964, which may have had an influence over his work and use of materials. In this particular combine, he used an actual bed or beddings—rumored to be his own—and made it his canvas. This sets it apart from the traditional understanding of a painting or a sculpture. He also makes use of the “paint drip,” which at the time was sort of symbolic of Abstract Expressionism, a movement based on the artist’s subjective experience and arguably popularized and embodied in the world’s …