Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
"Adaptability is the sense stimulated by the happenings as I do them, invention, substitution, taking advantage of a situation. This is why the effect of a happening is felt as a participation and less as a spectacle being observed. With an audience, the extension of participation is always intended, if not always realized. A brutal provocation may be a reverse invitation. Involving an audience is not an easy matter. I prefer small audiences, no larger than 50, and such an audience may be considered members of a cast, somewhat removed. A larger audience, even 200, is a herd, an other object entirely. Brutalization of such a number does not turn into invitation but brutal response." Excerpted from Claes Oldenburg: Raw Notes, published by The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
Published by IKS Institut für Kunstdokumentation und Szenografie. A Film by Ralph Goertz
This 45-minute documentary by Ralph Goertz follows the widely acclaimed exhibition Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties, which toured internationally and was presented at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2013–14. The exhibition offered a long-overdue survey of Oldenburg’s artistic development from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, examining works such as the Mouse Museum, The Street and The Store, as well as the various soft, hard and giant versions of his object sculptures from the 1960s. Goertz was allowed to accompany Oldenburg over the course of three years, during the setup of his exhibit at the Mumok Vienna and the Museum Ludwig Cologne, also recording him at his studio in New York. The DVD format is PAL only.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Edited by Achim Hochdörfer, Maartje Oldenburg, Barbara Schröder, Ann Temkin
Considered a central figure of Pop, installation art, and Happenings, Claes Oldenburg redefined existing notions of art in the 1960s with his landmark environments “The Street” and “The Store,” his soft sculptures and his proposals for monuments. Since his arrival in New York in 1956, Oldenburg’s prolific production has always been accompanied by a daily practice of writing that reveals the conceptual complexity and diversity of his inventive oeuvre. Comprising the artist’s key writings from the late 1950s and 1960s, this volume makes available a wealth of previously unpublished material, including sections of the diary Oldenburg kept during these formative years, his notes (written on an old typewriter in his studio while standing), facsimiles of sketches that show his abiding interest in the relationship between image and language, plus statements, essays, scripts for Happenings and poems. In diverse styles, vivid descriptions of his environment alternate with intimate confessions, humorous anecdotes, psychological observations and self-analysis, characterizations of the art world and its protagonists, and recurring inquests into his own motivations. This compilation, the first to be dedicated entirely to Oldenburg’s writings, shows an artist who is not only resolute, informed, and programmatic--deeply concerned with the art and society of his time--but also witty and playful in his confrontation with his own contradictions and ambiguities. The book provides a unique window into the formation and evolution of one of the most influential and ground- breaking contemporary artists, and a lively personal account of the 1960s. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1929, Claes Oldenburg grew up in Chicago and graduated from Yale University in 1950. After studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, he settled permanently in New York City in 1956. Oldenburg established himself in the early 1960s with a series of installations and performances, among them “The Street” (1960), “The Store” (1961) and “The Ray Gun Theater” (1962). At the end of the decade, Oldenburg began to fabricate works on a large scale, beginning with “Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks” (1969), which was followed by other works such as “Geometric Mouse” (1969) and “Giant Ice Bag” (1970). His first architecturally scaled sculpture, the 45-foot-high “Clothespin,” was installed in downtown Philadelphia in 1976. Soon thereafter, he began working with Coosje van Bruggen, whom he married in 1977. Together they went on to realize 44 site-specific sculptures for cities in the United States, Europe, Japan and Korea.
Published by Zwirner & Wirth. Essay by Julia E. Robinson.
Much of the seminal 1960s sculpture documented in this catalogue is from Claes Oldenburg's personal collection and had never been shown until it was gathered on the occasion of the artist's first major historical New York exhibition since his Guggenheim retrospective of 1995. Included are a large selection of objects from The Store; early soft sculptures from The Home; and works related to the Airflow project. Scholars and new initiates alike will enjoy Oldenburg's earliest riffs on street life (yard-long gym shoes), household objects (plump fabric light switches and toilets) and automobile culture, explored and transformed through innovative manipulations of scale and material into mysterious, formally inventive works that address human experience in modern life. An insightful essay by Julia E. Robinson points to relationships with the work of Daumier, Dubuffet and Manet.
PUBLISHER Zwirner & Wirth
BOOK FORMAT Clothbound, 11 x 11 in. / 118 pgs / 67 color and 11 bw.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 8/15/2006 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2006 p. 117
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9780977356805TRADE List Price: $65.00 CDN $75.00
Documents and Scripts of the Performances: Stars, Moveyhouse, Massage, The Typewriter, with Annotations by the Author
Published by The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Edited by Kasper Kànig.
A giant spoon with an enormous red cherry snaking out of the earth, a humongous badminton birdie, an oversized piece of cake, squishy scupltures--these are some of the works for which Claes Oldenburg, the artist who helped redefine sculpture in the 1960s, is best known. However, because they have been less documented, Oldenburg's happenings and performances have not been fully integrated into the critical discourse surrounding his work. Raw Notes, originally published in 1973, collects all of the material relating to his performances. According to his specifications, the text in the book is typed rather then set, and appears on only one side of the page. Examples of the original manuscript are reproduced in 63 script plates. These include stage plans, scores, sketches for programs, and posters. More than 200 annotations by the author expand the text. Raw Notes is indispensable as a document of the important aspects of Oldenburg's work.