Soft Bathtub Claes Oldenburg Rating: 7,1/10 1698 votes

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  • Claes Oldenburg facts: American artist Claes Oldenburg (born 1929) created works of art which were a wonderful blend of reality and fantasy. Oldenburg's artistic success was due in part to his irreverent humor and incisive social commentary. Yet he took objects from the real world and placed them out of context, making them soft when they.
  • Claes Oldenburg (born January 28, 1929) is an American sculptor, best known for his public art installations typically featuring large replicas of everyday objects. Another theme in his work is soft sculpture versions of everyday objects. Many of his works were made in collaboration with his wife, Coosje van Bruggen.
  • Claes Oldenburg (born January 28, 1929) is a sculptor, best known for his public art installations typically featuring very large replicas of everyday objects. Another theme in his work is soft sculpture versions of everyday objects.
  • Facts, information, quizzes and trivia on Claes Oldenburg, Stockholm, Sweden, Soft Bathtub, 1966 and Pop Art.
Claes Oldenburg
BornJanuary 28, 1929 (age 81)
Stockholm, Sweden
FieldSculpture, Public Art
TrainingLatin School of Chicago,
Art Institute of Chicago
MovementPop Art

Claes Oldenburg (born January 28, 1929) is a sculptor, best known for his public art installations typically featuring very large replicas of everyday objects. Another theme in his work is soft sculpture versions of everyday objects.


Claes Oldenburg was born in Stockholm, Sweden, the son of a Swedish diplomat. As a child he and his family moved to United States in 1936, first to New York then, later, to Chicago where he graduated from the Latin School of Chicago. He studied at Yale University from 1946 to 1950, then returned to Chicago where he studied under the direction of Paul Wieghardt at the Art Institute of Chicago until 1954.

'Claes Oldenburg -- surrealist soft sculpture (vinyl filled with foam rubber)' 'Claes Oldenburg Soft Viola, Canvas, resin, rope and metal painted with latex at the Whitney Museum of American Art' 'Claes_Oldenburg Violon - Un regard certain' 'Soft Viola, 2002 Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen'. Claes Oldenburg at MoMA; Claes Oldenburg was born in 1929 in Sweden, but grew up in the United States. His family settled in Chicago, where his father was the Swedish consul-general. His mother had been a concert singer. Or a hard object such as a bathtub in soft materials. Soft Bathtub (Model)—Ghost Version* (1966): acrylic and pencil on foam-filled canvas with wood, cord, and plaster. * Ghost version refers to the colour as Oldenburg would sometimes to the same sculpture, one in colour and one white.


Claes Oldenburg The Store

While further developing his craft, he worked as a reporter at the City News Bureau of Chicago. He also opened his own studio and, in 1953, became a naturalized citizen of the United States. His first recorded sales of artworks were at the 57th Street Art Fair in Chicago, where he sold 5 items for a total price of $25.[1] He moved back to New York City in 1956. There he met a number of artists, including Jim Dine, Red Grooms, and Allan Kaprow, whose Happenings incorporated theatrical aspects and provided an alternative to the abstract expressionism that had come to dominate much of the art scene.

The most memorable aspects of Oldenburg's works are perhaps, the colossal sculptures that he has made. Sculptures, though quite large, often have interactive capabilities. One such interactive early sculpture was a soft sculpture of a tube of lipstick which would deflate unless a participant re-pumped air into it. In 1974, this sculpture, Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks, was redesigned in a sturdier aluminum form, the giant lipstick being placed vertically atop tank treads. Originally installed in Beinecke Plaza at Yale, it now resides in the Morse College courtyard.

Many of Oldenburg's giant sculptures of mundane objects elicited public ridicule before being embraced as whimsical, insightful, and fun additions to public outdoor art. In the 1960s he became associated with the Pop Art movement and attended many so-called happenings, which were performance art related productions of that time. The name he gave to his own productions was 'Ray Gun Theatre'. His first wife -(1960–1970) Pat Muschinski who sewed many of his early soft sculptures, was a constant performer in his happenings. This brash, often humorous approach to art, was at great odds with the prevailing sensibility that, by its nature, art dealt with 'profound' expressions or ideas. But Oldenburg's spirited art found first a niche then a great popularity that endures to this day.

He has collaborated with Dutch/American pop sculptor Coosje van Bruggen since 1976. They were married in 1977.

In 1988, he and van Bruggen collaborated to create the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN that remains a staple of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden as well as a classic image of the city.

In addition to freestanding projects, he occasionally contributes to architectural projects, most notably the former Chiat/Day advertising agency headquarters in the Venice district of Los Angeles, California—the main entrance is a pair of giant black binoculars. The advertising agency DDB is the current tenant.

Another well known construction is the Free Stamp in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. This Free Stamp has a small, yet energetic cult following.


In 2000, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.[2]

In 2001, Oldenburg and van Bruggen created 'Dropped Cone', a large upturned ice cream cone, which can be found on top of a shopping centre in Cologne, Germany[3].


Soft Bathtub (Model)—Ghost Version by Claes Oldenburg 1966, acryllic and pencil on foam-filled canvas with wood, cord, and plaster. Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC.

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X, by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen
1999, painted stainless steel and Fiberglas
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Crusoe Umbrella by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, 1979, Cor-Ten steel painted with polyurethane enamel. Public art located in Nollen Plaza, Des Moines, Iowa

ClothespinCould not print pdf file. by Claes Oldenburg, 1976. Public art displayed near Philadelphia City Hall in Philadelphia. The form of the sculpture is a visual pun referencing the tower of City Hall.

The Bottle of Notes sculpture in Middlesbrough UK

Pencil signature of Claes Oldenburg from 1990

Dropped Cone by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, 2001. Situated on top of a shopping centre in the Neumarkt area of Cologne, Germany.


  • Busch, Julia M., A Decade of Sculpture: the New Media in the 1960s (The Art Alliance Press: Philadelphia; Associated University Presses: London, 1974) ISBN 0-87982-007-1
  • Axsom, Richard H., Printed Stuff: Prints, Poster, and Ephemera by Claes Oldenburg A Catalogue Raisonne 1958-1996 (Hudson Hills Press: 1997) ISBN 1-555951-23-6
  • Oldenburg, Claes Raw Notes: Documents and Scripts of the Performances: Stars, Moveyhouse, Massage, The Typewriter, with annotations by the author. (The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design: Halifax, 2005) ISBN 0-919616-43-7
  • Gianelli, Ida and Beccaria, Marcella (editors) Claes Oldenburg Coosje van Bruggen: Sculpture by the WayFundació Joan Miró 2007
  • Valentin, Eric, Claes Oldenburg, Coosje van Bruggen. Le grotesque contre le sacré, Paris, collection Art et artistes, Gallimard, 2009. ISBN 978-2-07-078627-5

Claes Oldenburg Influences


  1. ^ David McCracken, 'The Art Fair That's Been In the Picture the Longest', Chicago Tribune, June 5th, 1987, page 3
  2. ^Lifetime Honors - National Medal of Arts
  3. ^ Dropped Cone

External links

Claes Oldenburg Pop Art

Logic and philosophy
Willard Van Orman Quine (1993) ·Michael Dummett (1995) ·Dana Scott (1997) ·John Rawls (1999) ·Saul Kripke (2001) ·Solomon Feferman (2003) ·Jaakko Hintikka (2005) ·Thomas Nagel (2008)
Elias M. Stein (1993) ·Andrew Wiles (1995) ·Mikio Sato (1997) ·Yuri I. Manin (1999) ·Elliott H. Lieb (2001) ·Richard P. Stanley (2003) ·Luis Caffarelli (2005) ·Endre Szemerédi (2008)
Musical arts
Ingvar Lidholm (1993) ·György Ligeti (1995) ·Jorma Panula (1997) ·Kronos Quartet (1999) ·Kaija Saariaho (2001) ·Anne Sofie von Otter (2003) ·Mauricio Kagel (2005) ·Gidon Kremer (2008)
Visual arts
Rafael Moneo (1993) ·Claes Oldenburg (1995) ·Torsten Andersson (1997) ·Herzog & de Meuron (1999) ·Giuseppe Penone (2001) ·Susan Rothenberg (2003) ·SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa (2005) ·Mona Hatoum (2008)

Soft Bathtub Claes Oldenburg Indiana

Laureates of the Wolf Prize in Arts

Ralph Erskine (1983/4) ·Fumihiko Maki / Giancarlo De Carlo (1988) ·Frank Gehry / Jørn Utzon / Denys Lasdun (1992) ·Frei Otto / Aldo van Eyck (1996/7) ·Álvaro Siza Vieira (2001) ·Jean Nouvel (2005)


Vladimir Horowitz / Olivier Messiaen / Josef Tal (1982) ·Isaac Stern / Krzysztof Penderecki (1987) ·Yehudi Menuhin / Luciano Berio (1991) ·Zubin Mehta / György Ligeti (1995/6) ·Pierre Boulez / Riccardo Muti (2000) ·Mstislav Rostropovich / Daniel Barenboim (2004) ·Giya Kancheli / Claudio Abbado (2008)


Marc Chagall / Antoni Tàpies (1981) ·Jasper Johns (1986) ·Anselm Kiefer (1990) ·Gerhard Richter (1994/5) ·Louise Bourgeois (2002/3) ·Michelangelo Pistoletto (2006/7)


Eduardo Chillida (1984/5) ·Claes Oldenburg (1989) ·Bruce Nauman (1993) ·James Turrell (1998) ·Louise Bourgeois (2002/3) ·Michelangelo Pistoletto (2006/7)

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