Claes Oldenburg: A Survey of Print and Sculpture Editions

May 16, 2019September 14, 2019

This exhibition spans fifty years of Claes Oldenburg's creative output, ranging from imagery precisely rendered and architecturally inspired to lyrical and freely drawn. Internationally known for his large-scale, site-specific sculptures made with Coosje van Bruggen (1942-2009), Oldenburg’s works on paper reveal how drawing is central to his creative process. Developing and reworking themes in various states, Oldenburg uses printmaking and editions as a way to explore themes of iteration, mechanical process, and object/body equivalents. Baseball bats and gym shoes, ice bags and light bulbs, pencils and typewriter erasers are everyday objects retooled as subjects.

Oldenburg began collaborating with the Los Angeles-based Gemini G.E.L. workshop in 1968 with Notes, a portfolio of twelve lithographs each accompanied by its own text. Included in the exhibition in its entirety, the portfolio parallels his long-standing practice of keeping notebooks with drawings, sketches, writings, and clippings from printed material.

Many of the works on view propose monuments imagined out of the banal stuff of life in uncanny scenarios — a baseball bat towers over a landscape, a massive slice of strawberry cheesecake floats in the East River, two threaded screws combine to form a bridge. Each proposal challenges the long historic tradition of civic monuments built to memorialize historic events, and Oldenburg subverts them with a playful exaggeration. These are monuments to the human experience and our relationship to the world of objects around us.

Claes Oldenburg, Geometric Mouse - Scale D, 1971
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg, Profiterole, 1990
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg, Musical Hearts, 2012
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg, Extinguished Match, 1990
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg, Perfume Atomizer, on a Pillow, 1997
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg, Hard Times Bulb - Night, 1995
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg, Perfume Atomizer, On a Chair Leg, 1997
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg, Sneaker Lace in Landscape - Gray, 1991
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg, Butt for Gantt, 1990
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg, Thoughts About the French Revolution While Eating a Shrimp Salad, 1989
Published by Fonds National d’Art Contemporain
Claes Oldenburg, Wedding Souvenir, 1996
Published by the artist
Claes Oldenburg, Cherry, 1991
Published by Pace Editions
Claes Oldenburg, Pizza/Palette, 1996
Published by Pace Editions
Claes Oldenburg, Picasso Cufflink, 1974
Claes Oldenburg
Published by Propyläen Verlag, Berlin
Claes Oldenburg, Wrist Watch Rising, State II, 1991
Published by the artist
Claes Oldenburg, Rolling Collar and Tie, 1995
Published by Brooke Alexander Editions
Claes Oldenburg, Three Hats, 1974
Published by the Committee to Endow a Chair in Honor of Meyer Shapiro at Columbia University
Claes Oldenburg, Nose Handkerchief, 1968
Published by Documenta Foundation, Kassel, Germany
Claes Oldenburg, Landscape with Noses, 1976
Published by Multiples
Claes Oldenburg, Screwarch Bridge (State II), 1980
Published by Multiples
Claes Oldenburg, The Soap at Baton Rouge, 1990
Published by Carl Solway Gallery
Claes Oldenburg, Study for Sculpture in the Form of an Inverted Q: Above and Below Ground, 1975
Published by Petersburg Press, for the Artists Benefit for Attica Defense Fund
Claes Oldenburg, Voting Button in Landscape, 1984
Published by Artists for Mondale
Claes Oldenburg, Minature Soft Drum Set, 1969
Published by Multiples
Claes Oldenburg, Butter Pat in Berkeley Hills, 1976
Published by Multiples, New York