Often considered a forerunner of the pop art movement, Robert Raushcenberg is best known for his ‘’combines,’’ three-dimensional collage paintings, almost a hybrid of painting and sculpture. Born Milton Ernest Rauschenberg October 22, 1925 in Port Arthur, Texas he enrolled at the University of Texas at 16 to study pharmacology. After being drafted into the United States Navy he enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Academie Julian in Paris, France. In Paris he met his future wife, fellow painter Susan Weil. Upon return to the US he in 1948, he enrolled in Black Mountain College and studied under Josef Albers. By the 1950’s, he had already acquired quite the reputation in the Art World as an enfant terrible for his rebellion against the seriousness of Abstract Expressionism and for such works as Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953), which consists of a painting given to him by Willem de Kooning which he then subsequently erased, with de Kooning’s permission, of course. In a push against Abstract Expressionism, Rauschenberg sought out atypical materials for his pieces. A move that was both playful and innovative, he created his combines using materials such as photographs, buttons, mirrors, and pillows. Some materials were found discarded, like the taxidermied eagle in Canyon (1959). The 1964 Venice Biennale saw Rauschenberg become the first American awarded the International Grand Prize in Painting.