Rauschenberg met the composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham in the early 1950s, when all three were students at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Over the following two decades, the trio collaborated on various experimental performance pieces. They reunited in 1977 to create Travelogue, a sequence of disparate dance pieces for which Rauschenberg designed the set and costumes.
Travelogue archival footage
Date of work
Pictured: members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company Merce Cunningham Trust
One of the most influential figures of twentieth-century art, Robert Rauschenberg was a pioneering artist who ultimately challenged perceptions of what art could be. Born in Texas in 1925 he later moved to New York, where he created many of his best-known works. Endlessly curious and inventive, his work ranged from painting and sculpture to performance and dance. His refusal to accept existing boundaries of what was considered art led him to continually experiment with new techniques, from innovative printing methods to incorporating found objects and detritus in his works. This radical approach prefigured pop art and inspired generations of conceptual artists in the decades that followed.