Claes Oldenburg, ‘Slice of Birthday Cake’, Christie's

Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929)

Slice of Birthday Cake

signed with initials and dated 'C.O. 1963' (on the reverse of the plaster element)

two elements—enamel on plaster and wire and plastic plate

overall: 3 1/4 x 10 x 10 in. (8.2 x 25.4 x 25.4 cm.)

Executed in 1963.

Signature: signed with initials and dated 'C.O. 1963' (on the reverse of the plaster element)

New York, Dwan Gallery, Oldenburg, October 1963.

New York, Museum of Modern Art, Claes Oldenburg, September-November 1969, p. 83 (illustrated in color).

Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Sammlung Sonnabend: Von der Pop-art bis heute Amerikanische und europäische Kunst seit 1954, February-May 1996, p. 75 (illustrated in color).

Princeton University, The Art Museum; The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery and Minneapolis, The Walker Art Center, Selections from the Ileana and Michael Sonnabend Collection: Works from the 1950s and 1960s, February 1985-March 1986, p. 72 and 111, no. 41 (illustrated).

J. Shioda, Y. Watanabe, et al., Revolution: Art of the Sixties, from Warhol to Beuys, Tokyo, Museum of Contemporary Art, exh. cat., 1995, p. 219 (illustrated).

A. Goldstein, A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968, Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art, exh. cat., 2004, p. 312 (illustrated).

France Raysse, New York

The Estate of Ileana Sonnabend

By descent from the above to the present owner

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