art masterpiece: rauschenberg

Art Masterpiece is an art appreciation program offered to elementary children by parent volunteer guides. The goal is to help students look, think and talk about great masterpieces of art. I'm a volunteer guide and I am sharing my art discussions with you in this weekly post. Hope you enjoy it!
Summer Rental No. 2 by Robert Rauschenberg 1960

I have found that kids really enjoy abstract pieces. Especially in Kindergarten. They are used to seeing and thinking about art being pictures of real objects. An abstract painting challenges those thoughts and most of them enjoy seeing this "new" idea of art.

About the Artist: Robert Rauschenberg was born in 1925 and lived to be 82 years old. He is known as an American Pop Artist. Robert became famous for works of art that are collages of every day objects. He searched for a new way of painting, not so serious and more fun.

What do we call art that doesn’t look like real life? Abstract. 

What objects do you see? How do you think he stuck objects on the painting? He called his 3D artwork "combines" because he combined paint with objects such as scraps of clothes, tires and cardboard. This painter liked to pick up junk he found on the street, attach them to canvas and smear with paint. He had fun finding strange ways of putting it all together. One time he put paint on car tire and drove it over paper. 

What types of items would you like to put in a collage?

Let’s talk about the “elements of design” in this painting.

Line Look at the brush strokes where he painted. Do you think he painted fast or slow?

Shape What shapes do you see?

Color Which colors to you see?

Why do you think the artist painted it?  He was trying to get people to see art in everyday things ... If Robert can change the way somebody sees something, then they might see the world differently, so for that person Art has changed the world. And that is what Robert Rauschenberg believed. That's why he spent 61 years being and artist! 

How does it make you feel?

Does this picture make you think about art differently?

Art can be whatever you create. Have fun with it! 

I don't collage much but, I think greeting cards, ribbon, paper, magazine cut outs and paint is what I would likely reach for when I collage. Do you have favorite items to create collages with? 

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