I adore all things Robert Rauschenberg and after my recent travels to Palm Springs (post the NAEA convention in San Diego), I got to check out a few of his pieces.
Now, I didn't snap any photos while at the museum as it was verboten, but he was one interesting dude.
Rauschenberg was born in 1925, but didn't start delving into art until 1947 while serving as a Marine. He became disenchanted with the Abstract Expressionists and wanted to find his own style, so he started experimenting with found objects in his work.
Monogram (see above) was one of Rauschenberg's first combines using strange found objects to create an assembled piece. The work consists of a stuffed goat, a tire, a tennis ball, part of a shoe, and paint.
I also shared some images of works like Rebus, which are good examples of Rauschenberg integrating 3-dimensional objects into 2-dimensional paintings. My First grade students loved trying to spy what objects and materials Rauschenberg used in his pieces.
Now, as you have gathered by now, true to the spirit of art teachers everywhere, I am a serious hoarder. I recently acquired a large donation of mat board pieces from my aunt-in-law, who snagged them from a local frame shop. They came in all different colors and textures, and I pulled out the scraps with the most texture for our project.
So, I chopped up these pieces into our "canvases" and we got busy with our "combines." Sorry guys, no stuffed goats or tires in our pieces!
I also collect the castoff papers from the teacher copier in my hoarding closet(s), and we used these to create four stick bridges. The first graders had to roll up their papers into little pretzel sticks, dot down some glue, and then sing the first verse of "The Star Spangled Banner" every time they were gluing both sides to make sure the sticks stuck.
Needless to say, I have never heard so many strange versions of our national anthem. "By my dog's early light" and "the Skittles still screaming" were some of the many gems I overheard.
We used only the primary colors of our tempera paints to first paint our backgrounds, then our pretzel bridges. Mixing AND weaving in one project??? Yeahhhh buddy!
Next class, we wove the following into our looms:
How do ya like those mad technology skills? Yep, that's right, nothing beats a whiteboard, scotch tape, and some visual examples.
Some students chose to do more than 2-3 of each objects, which was a-okay with me.
This little guy was so inspired by our singing of "The Star Spangled Banner" whilst gluing, that he went all Jasper Johns up in this Art Room and incorporated the flag into his painting.
This little artist below didn't quite "get" the weaving component, but his final piece definitely has a Rauschenberg assemblage vibe about it, don't ya think?
Until next time, rock your Rauschenbergs!