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Rest In Peace, Claus Oldenburg

Last week we said good-bye to Claus Oldenburg, and artist whose work fills me with delight-- an interesting combination of serious and silly.


Spoonbridge and Cherry  The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

Spoonbridge and Cherry

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.


To think of a giant spoon with a cherry is one thing, to draw that image is another thing. To convince the world that it's serious art and then to carry it into reality takes a lot of conviction, plus serious engineering, not to mention money. This piece with the graceful curves of the spoon, the birght red of the cherry on top is perfect. It speaks to me of pleasure-- anticipation or satisfaction? Do you eat the cherry on top of the sundae first or do you save it for last?


 Shuttlecocks The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

Shuttlecocks The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City I love the birght white diagonals against the sober beige horiaontals and verticals of the building. Badminton speaks to me of summer afternoons and tea on the lawn.

Oldenburg's wife, Coosje van Bruggen was his partner and collaborator and I approve of that. There’s so much more—a giant lipstick standing on a caterpillar tractor that was seen as a protest against the Viet Nam War, A monumental clothespin, a safety pin for the diaper of a giant baby, but I think my favorite is this self-portrait. I had a lot of fun making these collages.


Claus Oldenburg self-portrait with Jane Morris, model and muse to the pre-Raphaelites

Claus with Jane Morris, model and muse to the pre-Raphaelites.


Claus Oldenburg with Fidel Castro

Here he is with Fidel Castro before the Eiffel Tower. We once spotted Fidel in Paris;

he was svelte in an Armani suit.


Claus Oldenburg and Snow White

Knocking at Snow White's door.


Claus Oldenburg in a pink pantsuit

Relaxing in a lovely pink ensemble. Thank you, Mr. Oldenburg and Ms.van Bruggen for all the fun and inspiration.




July 28, 2022

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