New book explores the turbulent life of a great artist as told by those closest to him

Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) was a breaker of boundaries and a consummate collaborator. He used silk-screen prints to reflect on American promise and failure, melded sculpture and painting in works called combines, and collaborated with engineers and scientists to challenge our thinking about art. Through collaborations with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and others, Rauschenberg bridged the music, dance, and visual-art worlds, inventing a new art for the last half of the twentieth century. Robert Rauschenberg is a work of collaborative oral biography that tells the story of one of the twentieth century’s great artists through a series of interviews with key figures in his life—family, friends, former lovers, professional associates, studio assistants, and collaborators. The oral historian Sara Sinclair artfully puts the narrators’ reminiscences in conversation, with a focus on the

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