Randy Twaddle

“This isn’t going to be an art history lesson!” says Randy Twaddle emphatically of his upcoming “The Artist’s Eye” gallery talk on Robert Rauschenberg. “I’m really going to talk about the history of Rauschenberg’s 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, I’ve 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 Rauschenberg’s ability to be so free and prolific (“I think there’s 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 Houston’s honors college.


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