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Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) was an American painter and graphic artist whose early works anticipated the pop art movement. His approach was sometimes called "Neo Dadaist" a label he shared with the painter Jasper Johns, and he was quoted as saying that he wanted to work "in the gap between art and life" suggesting he questioned the distinction between art objects and everyday objects, reminiscent of the issues raised by "The Fountain" by Marcel Duchamp. where an everyday urinal became a notorious work of art. Johns' paintings of numerals, flags and the like, also reprised Duchamp's message of the role of the observer in creating art's meaning. Rauschenberg is well known for his "Combines" of the 50s, where non-traditional objects were employed in innovative combinations. Rauschenberg was a painter and  sculptor, but he also worked with printmaking, papermaking, and photography,  By 1962, Rauschenberg's paintings were beginning to incorporate not only found objects but found images as well - photographs transferred to the canvas by means of the silkscreen process. Previously used only in commercial applications, silkscreen allowed Rauschenberg to address the multiple reproducibility of images and the consequent flattening of experience that implies. In this respect, his work is contemporaneous with that of Andy Warhol, and both Rauschenberg and Johns are frequently cited as important forerunners of American Pop Art. As part of his engagement with the latest technological innovations, he began making digital Iris prints and using biodegradable vegetable dyes in his transfer processes, underscoring his commitment to caring for the environment. Rauschenberg was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1993and  the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts in 1995  Rauschenberg lived and worked in New York City as well as on Captiva Island, Florida until his death from heart failure on May 12, 2008