Pop Art Sculptor Claes Oldenburg Dies at Age 93

Claes Oldenburg, an influential pop art sculptor known for making gigantic everyday objects, died on July 18 at the age of 93.

Pace Gallery, which has represented Oldenburg since 1960, announced that the Swedish-born American sculptor died in his home and studio in New York City.

The gallery described Oldenburg as “one of the most radical artists of the 20th century.”

“In addition to his inextricable role in the development of Pop Art, he changed the very nature of sculpture from hard to soft, and his influence can be seen to this day,” Arne Glimcher, founder of Pace Gallery, said.

Oldenburg moved to the United States in the 1950s and is known for his iconic sculptures outside of art museums, including the giant and brush at the Denver Art Museum and a shuttlecock at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

Oldenburg’s other colossal works adorn public spaces across the United States and around the world.

One of Oldenburg’s famous sculptures was a 45-foot-high, 10-ton black steel sculpture of a clothespin in Philadelphia, which was erected in 1976.

Oldenburg collaborated with his wife Coosje van Bruggen on over 40 projects, including the “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. She died in 2009 after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Oldenburg and van Bruggen’s final work together was the “Dropped Bouquet” sculpture featured in a 2021 exhibition, which was produced by Pace Gallery.


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