This isnt going to be an art history lesson! says Randy Twaddle emphatically of his upcoming The Artists Eye gallery talk on Robert Rauschenberg. Im really going to talk about the history of Rauschenbergs influence on me or lack thereof. Turns out that Rauschenberg is somebody that I used to not have any response to at all and then, over the course of time, Ive come to appreciate and respect his work a great deal.
Port Arthur-born artist Rauschenberg began his career in Europe, but eventually settled at the North Carolina Black Mountain College with cohorts dancer Merce Cunningham and musician John Cage. Considered a revolutionary artist, Rauschenberg is perhaps most famous for his combines, or combinations of real world images, found objects and abstract painting, a format he created. Twaddle, who says he admires Rauschenbergs ability to be so free and prolific (I think theres a little bit of pure envy there, he admits), is stepping out of his role as an artist and becoming a commentator, a role he says he feels equally comfortable with. A National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship winner, Twaddle is currently at work on Shine and Rise, a commission for the University of Houstons honors college.