|Claes Oldenburg Self-portrait,|
|Typewriter Eraser, Scale X, 1999,|
Washington, DC, Claes Oldenburg.
Though once a familiar object, today,
some might question, "what's that?"
Claes Oldenburg was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1929, which makes him some 83 years old now. Today he works from a small chateau, which he and his second wife refurbished in 1992, located in the Loire Valley of France. Claes's father was a Swedish diplomat stationed in New York. In 1936, his father was appointed the Swedish Counsel General to Chicago, where Claes grew up. He studied art history at Yale, then finished his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953, whereupon he became a naturalized American citizen and opening his own studio. Then in 1956 he moved to New York and fell in with a group of "happening artist" such as Jim Dine, Red Grooms, and Allan Kaprow. Their theatrical happening provided an alternative to the prevailing abstract expressionism which so dominated the New York scene at the time. It was in New York, around 1957, that Oldenburg began toying with giant mundane objects made of papier-mache, plaster, vinyl, and fabric, even women's nylon hose. His first show came in 1959, not in a gallery, but a church basement.
|Soft Bathtub--Ghost Version, |
1966, Claes Oldenburg
|Clothespin, 1976, Philadelphia,|
Claes Oldenburg. Which is the more
beautiful, the art or the architecture?
|Safety Pin, 1999, Claes Oldenburg|