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Claes Oldenburg. Floor Cone. 1962

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Claes Oldenburg (American, born Sweden 1929)

Floor Cone

Synthetic polymer paint on canvas filled with foam rubber and cardboard boxes
53 3/4" x 11' 4" x 56" (136.5 x 345.4 x 142 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Philip Johnson
MoMA Number:
© 2015 Claes Oldenburg
Audio Program excerpt

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.

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