Oldenburg, Claes

Oldenburg, Claes

(klăs), 1929–, Swedish-American artist, b. Stockholm. Usually considered part of the pop artpop art,
movement that restored realism to avant-garde art; it first emerged in Great Britain at the end of the 1950s as a reaction against the seriousness of abstract expressionism.
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 movement, Oldenburg explores the ironic and humorous aspects of common objects by grossly distorting them in scale, shape, and material. He is noted for soft sculptures of stuffed cloth (e.g., Soft Hamburger, 1962; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto) and giant objects (e.g., Giant Saw, Hard Version, 1969; Vancouver Art Gall.). His gigantic monument, Lipstick, was erected at Yale in 1969. Since the 1970s many of his works have been monumental outdoor installations (e.g., colossal binoculars in Los Angeles, an enormous clothespin in Philadelphia, and huge shuttlecocks in Kansas City) and most were executed in collaboration with his second wife, the Dutch artist and curator Coosje van Bruggen (1942–2009). Oldenburg's work is represented in many major public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum, both in New York City.

Oldenburg, Claes (Thure)

(1929–  ) sculptor; born in Stockholm, Sweden. Son of a Swedish diplomat, he grew up in New York State, Oslo, and Chicago (1936). He graduated from Yale (1951), studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1952–54), and settled in New York City (1956). One of the founders of the pop art movement, he is known for his mixed media sculptures, happenings, soft canvas works, and public monuments.