Art Update

On Pop and the Return of Claes Oldenburg's "The Store"


On Pop and the Return of Claes Oldenburg's "The Store"
Claes Oldenburgs's Pastry Case, I, 1961–62

Pop is back! On Tuesday evening April 9th, I attended the Acquavella gallery opening of "The Pop Object: The Still Life Tradition in Pop Art" curated by the renowned art historian John Wilmerding. The survey, accompanied by a beautifully illustrated catalogue, includes more than 75 important works by Dine, Indiana, Johns, Katz, Koons, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Segal, Thiebaud, Warhol, and Wesselmann. Various private collectors loaned works to this exhibition as well as major institutions including the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, MoMA, and Los Angeles MOCA.

It was a treat to see all these delectable works together! Here are some of my favorites: Rauschenberg's Coca-Cola Plan, (1958), Warhol's Coca Cola (1962), Ed Ruscha's Lemon Drops (1962), Oldenburg’s Pie a la Mode (1962), Thiebaud's Three Half Cakes (1966), Rosenquist's Orange Field (1964), Johns' Lightbulb (1960) and High School Days (1964), and Koons' New Hoover Celebrity 111's (1980). After more than 50 years, these works maintain their freshness and punch.

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Robert Rauschenberg's Coca-Cola Plan, 1958 @ Acquavella 

Pop continued the following evening at MoMA's opening of "Claes Oldenburg: The Street and The Store" and "Claes Oldenburgh: Mouse Museum/Ray Gun Wing." His first two major bodies of work, The Street (1960) and The Store (1961-64) are the essence of the exhibition. “During this intensely productive period Oldenburg redefined the relationship between painting and sculpture and between sculpture and form,” reads the statement. Oldenburg is one of the most important artists of the 20th century. He used materials around him in imaginative and amusing ways, and his sense of humor is seen throughout the show. His painted plaster sculptures depict everyday objects: Pastry Case 1 (1961-62) from the Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection is a prime example. Do not miss these shows! 

Oldenburg at the age of 84 is one of the last surviving giants of Pop Art.  

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The artist Claes Oldenburg in his seminal installation "The Store" in 1961 

Linda R. Silverman, a former director of the contemporary art department of Sotheby's New York, is now an art advisor in impressionist, modern and contemporary art. Linda R. Silverman Fine Art offers advisory services to private clients to purchase works of art at auctions, art fairs and galleries worldwide. To read more of her writing, visit Linda Silverman's Art Update blog.


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