Claes Oldenburg, ‘Hard Times Bulb-Night’, 1995, Vertu Fine Art

1-color lithograph with chine collé and metal collage. Eighteen individual drawings of the cord, socket, filament, and shadow were drawn on Mylar by the artist and were transferred to eighteen lithographic plates. Each plate was used twice. One print was pulled on gray paper and another on tan paper. The bulb shape was created by the process of chine collé, laying down a thin sheet of Japanese paper onto the surface of the plate at the point of printing. An adhesive was applied to the back side of the collé, so that as the impression was printed, the collé was adhered to the gray or tan paper. Each collé was cut from a separate template made by the artist that was used twice, once on each of the paper types. A coathanger was individually shaped by the artist and then powder-coated and suspended from a clear-coated straight pin that was located in each print by the artist.

Series: One of 27 unique

Signature: White pencil initialed lower right "CO"

About Claes Oldenburg

“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.”

Swedish, b. 1929, Stockholm, Sweden, based in New York, New York