Claes Oldenburg was born in 1929 in Stockholm, Sweden. His family
moved to Chicago when he was seven. His father was the Swedish Consul-General.
Oldenburg and his brother; created an imaginary island country and
designed maps, diagrams, and drawings describing every aspect of life
there. Oldenburg later attended Yale University and the School of
the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1956, like many other artists of
this time period, Oldenburg headed for New York. There he met artists
such as Red Grooms, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and others who influenced
his development. He became interested in existentialism.
Oldenburg was also interested in interdisciplinary art forms. He organized
Happenings, artworks combining theater,
music, and visual art, in which the audience often participated.
Oldenburg traveled to Europe where he created plaster of paris
carvings of food. Later in New York, he began to create the monumental
soft sculptures that many people characterized as Surrealist
because of their dreamlike quality. He was linked, inappropriately
some say, with Pop artists Andy Warhol and
Roy Lichtenstein because his subject matter was from daily life
or popular culture. Oldenburg was influenced by everything that
was happening in his world. In 1969, he moved his studio to New
Haven, Connecticut, where he began to collaborate
with a fabricating plant to construct the large-scale monumental
public art which has brought him international acclaim.
work together in an artistic undertaking.
philosophical perspective in which it is believed that humans are
totally responsible for their actions; from this persepctive, art
is a conscious act.
organized performance art that might include music, theater, dance,
visual art, or audience participation.
art movement associated with the 1960s in the United States in which
artists incorporated imagery and/or media from popular culture such
as advertisements, mass produced objects, movies, and comics.
in art and literature from 1924 to 1945 where artists attempted
to give visual representation to dreams, fantasies, and the unconscious
mind. Emphasized real objects in unreal situations, surprise, contradiction
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