Five short films about Robert Rauschenberg

Published 29 November 2016

A major new exhibition of Robert Rauschenberg opens this week at the Tate Modern. These five films explore the life and work of a true artistic pioneer.

Interview with Charlie Rose

Here Rauschenberg talks candidly to famous American talk show host Charlie Rose about his life and work, his conceptual approach, and the artists that influenced him. It's a fascinating, open and honest interview. 'My greatest joy is in working... that's when I feel wholeness...'

An introduction to Robert Rauschenberg

This 4-minute film by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is a perfect introduction to Rauschenberg and his work. It nicely distills his method, his combination of painting and sculpture, and the way he tackles the problems of representing life through art. 'Rauschenberg gave artists an enormous sense of permission.'

Erased de Kooning

In this short film Rauschenberg discusses one of his most controversial works - when he erased one of Willem de Kooning's paintings to make the work Erased de Kooning. 'I kept making drawing myself and erasing them, and that just looked like an erased Rauschenberg. It was nothing. So I figured out it had to have began as art, that it was going to be a de Kooning if it's going to be an important piece.'

Automobile Tire Print

Here Rauschenberg talks about the process of creating the work Automobile Tire Print with John Cage. 'I called John and asked him if he could come down on the weekend... I poured out the paint and told John to drive as straight as he could. He was the printer and the press.'


Rauschenberg explains how he came to make one of his most well-known works, Monogram, which features a stuffed goat he bought for $15 from a thrift store, which was less than the owner wanted for it. When Rauschenberg returned to pay the remaining amount, the store had closed down. 'He probably needed that goat.'

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