A Rare Look at Rauschenberg’s Second Act
By Deborah Solomon
Which one is better for making art: living in the city among gifted friends or isolating on an inconveniently located island? Robert Rauschenberg famously tried both. In 1970, at age 45 and acclaimed for his alchemical ability to turn detritus into art, he felt tired of living in Manhattan. He purchased property in Captiva, off the sandy west coast of Florida, and embarked upon the second half of his enormously inventive and influential career.
Rauschenberg’s later paintings and sculptures have never had the visibility of his earlier work, which is perhaps inevitable in a culture that romanticizes youthful creativity. But the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, which acquired much of the artist’s work upon his death in 2008, at 82, is inviting us to take a closer look and collaborating on several concurrent exhibitions at major galleries here and in Europe.