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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 25th November 2016 > SUN, SAND AND SCREEN PRINTS


Captiva is more than just an island off Florida. It’s where Robert Rauschenberg’s art came back to life
SAND CASTLES: Rauschenberg takes two of his dogs for a walk on the beach on Captiva in 1984. The artist moved to the island in 1970 and began buying up properties, eventually becoming the island’s largest landowner.

I AM SITTING on a white beach as the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico, watching a pod of dolphins play. Groups of wild birds stalk the tide line, eyeing the sand for small invertebrates. The beach stretches away for a mile and a half either side of me; behind me are a few private houses set among strangler figs and mango trees. This is Captiva Island, home to Robert Rauschenberg, one of the most successful American artists of the 20th century. Anyone can visit the island, yet staying at Rauschenberg’s residence is an opportunity few get to experience. I’m here because the Rauschenberg Foundation has invited me in the run-up to a major retrospective of the artist that begins at Tate Modern in London next month, before moving to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and then to San Francisco.

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25th November 2016