Claes Oldenburg, ‘Study for Announcement for One-Man Show at Dwan Gallery—Mickey Mouse with Red Heart’, 1963, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Collection: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Image rights: Copyright 1963 Claes Oldenburg

"Los Angeles to New York: The Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971"

Venue: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2016 - 2017)

Gift of The American Contemporary Art
Foundation, Inc., Leonard A. Lauder, President

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