Claes Oldenburg: Large Scale Projects, 1977 - 1980


A chronicle by Coosje Van Bruggen & Claes Oldenburg, based on notes, statements, contracts, correspondence, and other documents related to the works.

By R.H Fuchs

‘The world is full of monuments. Throughout history the State and its ruling class, in its historical pride, have taken care that posterity as well as their present subjects should never forget them and their achievements – the historical and moralistic message should be loud and clear.’

So, where does Oldenburg’s public sculpture stand in our contemporary age? Is he having a laugh? Not exactly, the work is too precise and considered for that. This book is excellent because it reveals the workings behind famous sculptures such as the baseball bat and ‘paint splats’ wall commission in Texas. There are construction photos, maquettes that are artworks in themselves, notebook pages, and letters written by Oldenburg.

Letter written by Claes to William S. Paley on January 7, 1979, to explain his concept of the Giant Switches:

“Perhaps the Giant Switches do not represent all the different activities of CBS. It may be difficult to find an emblem that does include them all…..I took the concern of CBS in general to be ‘communication’ and reduced this content, consistent with my approach, to its simplest common denominator – ON and OFF.”

Publication date: 1980

Publisher: Rizzoli, New York

Details: Softcover. 100pp.

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