“My paintings are invitations to look somewhere else.”
Below is a really fantastic video interview with Rauschenberg from 1972. He starts by talking explicitly about his turn away from abstract expressionism.
The abstract expressionists and myself, what we had in common was touch. I was never interested in their pessimism or editorializing.
He also talks about his Black Mountain College days, learning discipline, the thoughts behind some of his significant works, and much more. “Art doesn’t come out of art,” he says.
Oh, and he’s sitting on a ladder the whole time. Naturally.