Claes Oldenburg: The Street and The Store
April 14–August 5, 2013
Floor Cone is one of three large-scale soft sculptures that Oldenburg produced with his then wife, Patty Mucha, for the second exhibition of The Store, at New York’s Green Gallery. Simplified to cone and sphere, the sculpture is instantly identifiable as an ice cream cone. Mucha recalls taking the work for a drive in a pickup truck along West Fifty-seventh Street, where the Green Gallery was located, and encountering a warm reception from children in passing cars, who “shouted out their approval.” However, the sculpture’s relationship to its real-world referent is complicated by both its size and its material. Oldenburg exacerbated this deformation caused by gravity for his 1963 solo show at Los Angeles’s Dwan Gallery, during which he propped Floor Cone upside down against a wall.
Claes Oldenburg: The Street and The Store, April 14–August 5, 2013
Director, Glenn Lowry: Oldenburg created the large-scale soft sculptures Floor Burger, Floor Cone, and Floor Cake for the 1962 installation of The Store at the Green Gallery in midtown Manhattan.
Artist, Claes Oldenburg: It seemed perfectly natural to me that if you like to touch things, you like to touch soft things as well as hard things. If you're going to make sculpture out of real things around you, then why not try to make them soft so that you could push them around, and they'll change shape.
They all had to be stuffed. That was a very important thing. And there were different ways of stuffing them. You could stuff them hard or you could stuff them soft. Those big pieces were so large that the interior space required so much stuffing that I finally decided to stuff them with boxes.
Glenn Lowry: Oldenburg’s then wife Patty Mucha sewed the canvas sculptures and then he painted them.
Claes Oldenburg: These large objects were inspired by seeing grand pianos on 57th Street or automobiles in showrooms. Things that were large within a store that you would think shouldn't have such large things in it. We didn't make them downtown and bring them up. We made them in the gallery.