Now eaten, two negative-spaces spell C for Claes, one inverted like a reflection in the mirror of his mind: two C's in one O 3. At this time, his interest in traditional figurative paintings began to change to an interest in sculpture. Oldenburg's cardboard preserves the look of the materials and the handmade, and the sewn vinyl of inflatable sculpture reflects the skills of his first wife,. Richard would later become the Director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City for over two decades 1972-1995. He took only a few art classes during his senior year and received a Bachelor of Arts degree. A rather weak sketch of the store window 1961 here shows a yellow shirt, a red bow tie and other objects in a colorful jumble conjured up with Abstract Expressionist fervor.
Oldenburg's wonderful ''Nude With Electric Plug'' 1967 , an exuberant exhibitionist holding a large electric socket at a crucial point in her torso. The notion of enlarging a diminutive, everyday object and placing it in a landscape - an idea integral to Oldenburg's monumental public art - comes to us from the Surrealists such as Magritte, Dalí, and Ernst. Perhaps only a shaman could assemble such loose proceedings. Throughout the galleries, sketches, snapshots, home movies, and slide projections give insight into the mind, heart, and creative process of an artist known for his humorous and profound depictions of the everyday. Even before the Great Recession, the Whitney had been planning a quiet spring 2009. In 1961 he rented a storefront, called it The Store, and stocked it with stuffed, crudely-painted forms resembling diner food, cheap clothing, and other mass-manufactured items that stupefied an audience accustomed to the austere, non-representational forms in Abstract Expressionist sculpture. Maybe a true retrospective will always be out of reach, just at the Whitney in 2009.
According to Oldenburg, the unique color and texture of his 1960s sculptures depends on one crucial ingredient: lead paint. He must have dreamed of departing with his wife for the Soft Viola Island. Oldenburg also created humor by representing a soft object like a baked potato in hard materials, or a hard object such as a bathtub in soft materials. He saw the graphic potential, as no other artist ever has, of a baked potato -- replete with melting butter pat -- thrown into a corner, an almost-quivering fleshly register of the velocity with which it was hurled 1965. When it , the Whitney knows its limits. Yet it assimilates way too easily the mad rituals of the happenings, the ugly indulgence of giant Fag Ends, and the caked and battered clothing from The Store.
Oldenburg, whose early sculptures of everyday objects -- like his ''Soft Toilet'' of 1966 -- helped define the Pop Art movement, is one of the most original draftsmen around. In them, he plays at once collaborator and shaman. A gigantic ironing board looming over the Lower East Side? It seems only right that they disperse one's attention, just as the performers drift in every direction and none. Here, too, the husband-wife artist couple of Oldenburg and van Bruggen explored the site before selecting an appropriate object for the sculpture. It also spawned still more sketches for still more plans. I shall just have to settle for the mouse ears and the memories that I could never have.
When it , the Whitney knows its limits. . Click next thumbnail to continue Stems and straight lines extending from a circular form or from one nearby like examples at left are also quite common in Oldenburg's oeuvre. Tired of art news that veers from big names and big money to cutbacks and threats of museum closings? To be whole, happy and wise, we need to recognize that duality exists within unity. What if a museum just went about its business—of sticking up for the art and artists it knows best? Desserts have neither the chill of nor the lushness of. No doubt his soft sculpture looked anticlimactic from the start anyway.
In addition to being soft, these sculptures were much larger than the objects that they portrayed. A partir de 1975, il collabore avec l'artiste et historienne de l'Art, Coosje van Bruggen 1942-2009 qu'il épouse en secondes noces en 1977 pour la réalisation de ses grands projets en correspondance avec les lieux ou les architectures environnantes. Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, A Bottle of Notes and Some Voyages, November-December 1988. His sculpture is way too tactile—and way too immersed in ketchup stains and toilet training. Typewriter Eraser has the tilt and bristles of a mammoth bird in flight. The carrots do look like wood, and the meat peeking through the cheese hole in that sandwich is entirely unidentifiable. Instead of a bringing fresh eye to familiar art, they left the rooms strangely empty, as work that did not fit the theme had to go.
It has an air of perpetual good cheer, a not unreasonable reflection of a sane and good-natured artist. Metamorphosis occurs here through scale and the way soft and hard forms can playfully transform our everyday perceptions of the function or performance of musical instruments. The whole idea, says Oldenburg, was to use the most ordinary materials available and transform them into something extraordinary. Il loue pendant deux mois un magasin The Store qui lui sert tout à la fois d'atelier et de lieu de vente. One wants to call the work a celebration or a satire, appetizing or disgusting, deeply personal or studiously neutral, but one will just have to settle for funny.
The 18 drawings in this section of the show include several for the shuttlecock sculpture at the Guggenheim, with the best a wonderfully delineated study of two shuttlecocks spreading their feathers as they fall in an ethereal ballet. So simple that critics sometimes mistake it as work made for the masses. Sainte-Victoire by Cézanne signed with initials and dated 'C. Food was not his only inspiration. Oldenburg is also a whiz at the mechanical drawing required for industrial scale.