Robert Rauschenberg

Rauschenberg grew up in the backwaters of Port Arthur, Texas, where he said it was very easy to reach the age of 18 without ever seeing a painting. For his high school graduation present, he wanted a “ready made” shirt — his first store bought, not homemade, piece of clothing.

“To Whom it May Concern: The white paintings came first; my silent piece came later.” – John Cage

Top: Retroactive I, 1964. Middle: Estate, 1963. Bottom: Photograph of Robert Rauschenberg seated on Untitled (Elemental Sculpture) with White Painting (seven panel) behind him at the basement of Stable Gallery, New York (1953). © Photograph: Allan Grant, Life Magazine © Time Warner Inc/Robert Rauschenberg/VAGA, New York and DACS, London 2006