Claes Oldenburg

Swedish, b. 1929

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Claes Oldenburg

Swedish, b. 1929

6,666
Followers
Biography

“I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something more than sit on its ass in a museum,” wrote Claes Oldenburg in his seminal 1961 manifesto I Am For An Art. From his Happenings beginning in the 1960s, to his enormous public sculptures of ice cream and rubber stamps, to his collaboration with his wife Coosje van Bruggen, Oldenburg has remained at the forefront of the Conceptual and Pop art movements. He has worked in a variety of mediums including performance, drawing, and writing, though he is best known for his large glossy or soft sculptures of ordinary consumer items, such as Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks (1969-74). Some of Oldenburg’s most radical works remain in the realm of concept, as in his proposal for Thames Ball (1967)—a giant toilet tank ball that would have floated on the Thames River. “I am for an art that grows up not knowing it is art at all,” he wrote. “I am for an artist who vanishes.”

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$4m, Christie's, 2015
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 23 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 7 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 4 more
Biography

“I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something more than sit on its ass in a museum,” wrote Claes Oldenburg in his seminal 1961 manifesto I Am For An Art. From his Happenings beginning in the 1960s, to his enormous public sculptures of ice cream and rubber stamps, to his collaboration with his wife Coosje van Bruggen, Oldenburg has remained at the forefront of the Conceptual and Pop art movements. He has worked in a variety of mediums including performance, drawing, and writing, though he is best known for his large glossy or soft sculptures of ordinary consumer items, such as Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks (1969-74). Some of Oldenburg’s most radical works remain in the realm of concept, as in his proposal for Thames Ball (1967)—a giant toilet tank ball that would have floated on the Thames River. “I am for an art that grows up not knowing it is art at all,” he wrote. “I am for an artist who vanishes.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$4m, Christie's, 2015
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 23 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 7 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 4 more
Shows Featuring Claes Oldenburg
Articles Featuring Claes Oldenburg
Why Pop Artists Were Obsessed with Food
Nov 3rd, 2018
The 15 New York Shows You Need to See This October
Sep 28th, 2017
Can Anything Be Performance Art?
Jun 21st, 2017
Claes Oldenburg’s Supersized Pop Sculptures Made Public Art Fun
Jan 27th, 2017
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