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Famous American Sculptor Claes Oldenburg Dies

Famous American Sculptor Claes Oldenburg Dies

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Swedish-born American artist Claes Oldenburg died at the age of 93. This was reported by Art News, citing representatives of two galleries that exhibited the artist’s work.

"Famous American sculptor Claes Oldenburg dies"
Famous American sculptor Claes Oldenburg dies

The Swedish-born American artist was born in 1929 in Stockholm in the family of a Swedish diplomat. The future artist spent his childhood in Chicago. After high school, he studied at Yale University and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Oldenburg held his first exhibition:

The artist held his first exhibition in New York in 1959. At the beginning of his career, he made the so-called “soft sculptures” (one of the most famous – “Outdoor Burger”) and engaged in happenings.

He later became more committed to objecting to art. Oldenburg’s most characteristic technique is the sculptural representation of a rather small and completely ordinary object on a disproportionately gigantic scale, and often also bizarrely colored and unexpectedly located in space. Initially provocative, the artist’s works are now read as an elegant game that easily fits into the urban landscape – therefore, over time, Oldenburg’s works are more actively used as a visual solution to the urban environment.

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So, the entrance to the advertising agency  “Chiat\Day” in Los Angeles, was made by Oldenburg in the form of giant black binoculars, and in Milan, on the square in front of the Cadorna railway station, a giant needle was half stuck into the ground with a bright red-yellow-green thread sticking out of it (on the opposite side of the square there is the other end of the thread, with a knot ).

His most famous works:

One of his most famous works in this style is the “Column-bit” in Chicago, which is a 30-meter steel baseball bat (1977).

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In 1989, Oldenburg was awarded the Wolf Prize for the Arts, in 1995 the Rolf Schock Prize, and in 2000 the US National Medal of Arts.

"Famous American sculptor Claes Oldenburg dies"
badminton shuttlecock by

Among his most famous works is the over 13-meter-tall steel Clothespin placed in front of Philadelphia City Hall. The artist also made sculptures in the form of a baseball bat, a badminton shuttlecock, an ice cream cone, a saw, a brush, and a scoop. These works are located in the centers of different cities of the world.

Creativity Oldenburg attributed to pop art. Since the second half of the 1970s, he created many of his sculptures together with his wife Kuzi van Bruggen.

Later, the artist began to create sculptures of everyday objects of giant size. Among his most famous works is the over 13-meter-tall steel Clothespin placed in front of Philadelphia City Hall. Oldenburg also made sculptures in the form of a baseball bat, a badminton shuttlecock, an ice cream cone, a saw, a brush, and a dustpan. These works are located in the centers of different cities of the world.

Creativity Oldenburg attributed to pop art. Since the second half of the 1970s, he created many of his sculptures together with his wife Kuzi van Bruggen.

In the event that a variant of the second work would appear not in London but in New Haven, Connecticut, outside a library at Yale University, Oldenburg’s own alma mater. Lipstick (Rising) on ​​Caterpillar Tracks (1969) was made as a satire on US involvement in the Vietnam War and was secretly rolled on the spot by students under cover of night.

“I am for an art that is politically-erotic-mysterious, that does something more than sitting on the butt of a museum,” the artist said. Although it is acute enough to feel problems in the work’s fusion of feminine reference and phallic form, university authorities wisely left Lipstick (Ascending) alone. It was eventually moved to another Yale location, where it still stands.

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