Born and raised in Seymour, Indiana, Mellencamp is an acclaimed
singer-songwriter and musician, as well as an accomplished painter and long-time
activist. He started painting at an early age, influenced by his mother, also an
artist. Mellencamp studied briefly at the Arts Students League in New York,
where he discovered the work of Twentieth-Century Modernists. As his musical
career flourished, he began to paint earnestly in the 1980s with an early
affinity for portraiture influenced by the works of Otto Dix and Max Beckmann.
He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, recipient of The Woody Guthrie
Award, the John Steinbeck Award, ASCAP Foundation's Champion Award, the
Americana Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Founders Award
and co-founder of Farm Aid – a nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep family farmers on the land.
About Robert Rauschenberg
Robert Rauschenberg (1925 – 2008) worked in a wide range of subjects, styles, materials, and techniques throughout his career. He has been called a forerunner of nearly every postwar movement since Abstract Expressionism, although he remained independent of any particular affiliation. When he began making art in the late 1940s and early 50s, his belief that “painting relates to both art and life” presented a direct challenge to the prevalent modernist aesthetic.
The celebrated Combines, begun in the mid-1950s, brought real-world images and objects into the realm of abstract painting and broke down the divisions between painting and sculpture. Rauschenberg’s lifelong commitment to collaboration—with performers, printmakers, engineers, writers, artists, and artisans from around the world—is a further manifestation of his expansive artistic philosophy.
This text is adapted from an essay written by Julia Blaut, “Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective,” @Guggenheim (Fall 1997). (From the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation)
About ACA GALLERIES
Since 1932 the American Contemporary Art Gallery (ACA) has been at the vanguard of American Art. As one of the oldest galleries in New York, its pioneering interest in progressive art was established early on in exhibitions, often introducing the work of artists Giorgio Cavallon, Aaron Douglas, Philip Evergood, Rockwell Kent, Alice Neel, Barnett Newman, Irene Rice Pereira, David Smith, Theodoros Stamos and Charles White, among many others. Over the decades the gallery’s scope and inventory expanded to include masterworks from the Renaissance to 19th century, Modern and Contemporary American and European painting, sculpture and photography. Today, ACA Galleries continues to break new ground, supporting new artists, representing established artists and distinguished estates; and presenting several exhibitions per year that honor the gallery’s deep historical roots by re-imagining them in a contemporary context.
About Eckert Fine Art
Jane Coats Eckert’s roots are in 19th and early 20th Century American artists, on whom she wrote and lectured. In 1996, she opened Eckert Fine Art in Naples, Florida, where she formed a business relationship and friendship with Robert Rauschenberg, traveling with him to such venues as the Guggenheim, the Bilbao and the Musee d’Art modern et d’Art contemporiain, Nice. She curated shows on Rauschenberg at three museums, mounted numerous exhibitions on his works, including one reuniting him with his BMW art car, in 1992 in an exhibition called Beamers. She is the past Chair of the Director’s Advisory Council at Mass Moca, served as Secretary of the Fine Art Dealers Association and was named one of the 25 Most Influential People in Litchfield, CT in 2017.
529 West 20th Street, Floor 5
New York, NY 10011
Tuesday – Saturday: 11am – 6pm
Sunday – Monday: By Appointment Only