Claes Oldenburg: The Street and The Store

Floor Burger
Date: 1962
Medium: Canvas filled with foam rubber and cardboard boxes, painted with acrylic paint
Dimensions: 52" x 7' x 7' (132.1 x 213.4 x 213.4 cm)
Credit Line: Collection Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Purchase, 1967

Claes Oldenburg. Floor Burger. 1962

Canvas filled with foam rubber and cardboard boxes, painted with acrylic paint
Collection Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Purchase, 1967 Audio courtesy of Acoustiguide

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.

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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