Claes Oldenburg

Claes Oldenburg (Stocholm, SE, 1929)
Claes Oldenburg is a Swedish sculptor who lives and works in New York, best known for his public art installations typically featuring large replicas of everyday objects. He began his artistic studied in New York where he met relevant personalities 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. By 1960 Oldenburg had produced sculptures containing simply rendered figures, letters and signs, inspired by the Lower East Side neighbourhood where he lived, made out of materials such as cardboard, burlap, and newspapers. In the 1960s Oldenburg became associated with the Pop Art Movement and created many happenings. From the early 1970s Oldenburg concentrated almost exclusively on public commissions. His first public work, Three-Way Plug came on commission from Oberlin College with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to freestanding projects, he occasionally contributed to architectural projects, among them, two Los Angeles projects in collaboration with architect Frank Gehry: Toppling Ladder With Spilling Paint, which was installed at Loyola Law School in 1986, and Binoculars, Chiat/Day Building, completed in Venice in 1991.