Claes Oldenburg

Arthur Solway, Author, Thomas Lawson, Author, Claes Oldenburg, Author Rizzoli International Publications $65 (157p) ISBN 978-0-8478-1335-3
The artist's Pop multiples--small sculptures produced in large editions--are alternately playful, subtle and outrageous. Such works as the latex Soft Ketchup Bottle or the giant Emerald Pill (an aspirin-popper's dream) can be read as critiques of consumerism, but they also celebrate the everyday rituals that give coherence to people's lives. As Lawson, dean of the California Institute of the Arts, points out in his solemn introduction, the multiples depend on ``the pleasure of recognition.'' Geometric Mouse renders Mickey Mouse's head in the style of Alexander Calder. In London Knees , an homage to Britain's miniskirt fad of the 1960s, a pair of disembodied legs towers like a fetishistic icon. Life Mask , a human face cast as a Jell-O mold, reveals Oldenburg's delight in exploring his materials. The sculptor's chatty notes accompanying each plate make the book as entertaining to read as it is to look at. ( Nov. )
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
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