I’ve had a long love of books, and some of my most prized books are art books. This is a review of books from my collection that can be found on shelves in my studio. I will provide links when possible.
If you are interested in learning more about the life and work of Robert Rauschenberg a good book to start with would be, Off the Wall: A Portrait of Robert Rauschenberg by Calvin Tomkins. It is a very readable and informative book on the early life and work of Rauschenberg.
Other books that I highly recommend are, Robert Rauschenberg Combines, published by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Steidl Verlag (if you are interested in book design check out www.steidlville.com). It can only be described as a work of art in itself. The illustrations are in lavish full colour showing many details of important works, and the essays are readable and informative. It is simply a breathtaking work on one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
Cardboards and Related Pieces focuses on a body of work Rauschenberg created in the early 1970’s. After he moved to Captiva Island he couldn’t find interesting scrape or junk that he used to create much of his work. He turned to the closest thing at hand which was the cardboard boxes that he found in his studio or on the street. He started breaking the boxes apart and gluing them back together, and eventually he started casting them in clay and bronze.
These are great books to explore the work and life of this unique, and great artist.