Go read Michael Kimmelman’s obituary, it’s one of the best things he’s written.
Kicking around Europe and North Africa with the artist Cy Twombly for a few months after that, he began to collect and assemble objects — bits of rope, stones, sticks, bones — which he showed to a dealer in Rome who exhibited them under the title “scatole contemplative,” or thought boxes. They were shown in Florence, where an outraged critic suggested that Mr. Rauschenberg toss them in the river. The artist thought that sounded like a good idea. So, saving a few scatole for himself and friends, he found a secluded spot on the Arno. “‘I took your advice,” he wrote to the critic.
The ranks of Great American Painters are growing ever thinner. Johns is left, and Twombly; that’s about it, I think.