Robert Rauschenberg was born in 1925 in Port Arthur, Texas.
In 1942 Rauschenberg enrolled in Pharmacy, then enlisted in the Marines. Between 1947 and 1948 he attended some courses at the Kansas City Art Institute.
In 1948 he moved to Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian and met Susan Weil, who would become his wife.
Back in America, he attended Joseph Albers' courses at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Here he meets Merce Cunningham and John Cage.
In 1949 Rauschenberg moved to New York.
He enrolled in the Art Students' League, which he attended until 1952. To live, he took care of window dressing and performed some works for Bonwit Teller and Tiffany.
In 1951 he held his first solo show at Betty Parson's Gallery in New York. Performs minimalist-inspired paintings (All-White Paintings, All-Black Paintings).
In 1952 he returned to Black Mountain College as a teacher and made his first happening with John Cage. Start traveling. Visit Italy, France, Spain, North Africa. In 1953 he exhibited his works in Florence and Rome. Opens a studio in New York.
In 1954 he meets Jasper Johns, with whom he establishes friendship. He begins his collaboration with Merce Cunningham and his dance troupe, an experience that will last until 1965. In 1955 he realizes the first Combine-paintings.
In 1957 he came into contact with the gallery owner Leo Castelli, who organized a personal exhibition for him in March 1958. He created a cycle of 12 illustrations for Dante's Inferno. The following year he participated in the Documenta in Kassel and in the Biennials of Paris and São Paulo.
In 1960 he met Duchamp. Participates in the exhibition "The New Realism in Paris and New York". In 1962 he began to use the screen printing process, combining it with the inclusion of painting, collage and other objects. He also successfully devoted himself to lithography, for which he won the Grand Prix in Ljubljana.
His first European retrospective dates back to 1963, at the Galerie Sonnabend in Paris. He also exhibits at the Jewish Museum in New York.
In 1964 he presented his works at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. He participates in the Venice Biennale, where he wins the Grand Prize for Painting