“Claes Oldenburg – Sculptural Multiples”, a tight survey of Oldenburg’s multiples, primarily ones from the 1960’s and early 1970’s. The works, in a variety of media, are humorous, smart and subtle. They celebrate the everyday rituals that give coherence to people’s lives all while turning assumptions upside down. As Thomas Lawson points out, the multiples depend on “the pleasure of recognition,” whether in the Geometric Mouse, which has Mickey Mouse’s head in the style of Alexander Calder or the cardboard cut-out of the N.Y.C. Pretzel.
During his prolific 60-year career, Claes Oldenburg has used collage, drawing, performance, sculpture and monumental public artworks to explore the mystery and power of commonplace objects. He changes the color, scale, shape and texture of these familiar items, creating surprising and often humorous forms that encourage us to experience our environment differently. During the early 1960s, these works established Oldenburg as one of the leading practitioners of Pop Art. Today he is best known for his iconic public sculptures which dot urban landscapes throughout the United States and Europe.