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Art is Fun at The Store
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Claes Oldenburg was born in Sweden and moved with his family to the US in the 1930s. He is best known for enormous sculptures of every day objects, like his lipstick sculpture and the ice pack. Sometimes considered to be a pop artist because his subjects come from daily life, he also had art school...

downloadDescription:

Claes Oldenburg was born in Sweden and moved with his family to the US in the 1930s. He is best known for enormous sculptures of every day objects, like his lipstick sculpture and the ice pack. Sometimes considered to be a pop artist because his subjects come from daily life, he also had art school credentials and serious interests in color, material and philosophy. After studying at the Art Institute of Chicago and later at Yale, Oldenburg moved to the Bowery where he befriended people like Alan Kaprow, Red Grooms, and others who were having a bit more fun than the abstract expressionists, who were mostly depressed heavy drinkers. While Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock had tried to express things like truth and inner turmoil, this store front became a place for Oldenberg to make art that was funny and whimsical.

He rented this retail space for a few months in 1963, paying only 60 dollars to open a store, which he called, appropriately, The Store. There he explored the role of art as product or commodity, which was becoming a major preoccupation of artists at the time. By 1963, New York’s gallery scene had made art seem like full fledged industry with hefty paychecks for dealers, gallery owners, collectors, and the artist himself, who now had to deal with his own self promotion.

207 East 4th Street, New York
Art, Claes Oldenburg, Store