A paper discussing rauschenbergs use of paintings as objects, presentation rather than representation, and the movement in the ceramics field to represent rather than present pots as not so much a coming together or blurring of lines but recognition of the lines as mara by a group of people not claiming any adherence to buddhist philosophy.
"The most famous thing he said was that he worked in the gap between art and life," said John Elderfield, chief curator of painting and sculpture at New York's Museum of Modern Art. "I think what he meant by this is life was his materials as much as art was his materials." http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jatmDN7Lw1G048tSIFdlmViBpifwD90KVR6O0
Buddhism attracted many in New York's artistic circles in the 1950s, and Rauschenberg's friend John Cage had been a Buddhist adherent since the 1930s (Cage drove the automobile that in 1953 produced Rauschenberg's first wheel-image, a 23-foot-long tyre-print; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art). (12) In his non-linear, scattershot manner of allusion, Rauschenberg further emphasised his Christ-goat's painful burden by leaving visible the stencilled quality-label of his canvas: EXTRA HEAVY. (12) On interest in Buddhism in post war New York, see Charles Stuckey, 'Minutiae and Rauschenberg's Combine Mode', in Schimmel, op. cit., p. 203. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PAL/is_536_164/ai_n16818833 Kenneth Bendiner is professor of art history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.