Claes Oldenburg: The Street and The Store

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Street Figure in Grey Planes
Date: 1960
Medium: Cardboard, wood, cord, wire, painted with casein
Dimensions: Height: 8' 2 13/64" (250 cm)
Credit Line: Museum Ludwig Cologne / Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung

Claes Oldenburg. Street Figure in Grey Planes

Claes Oldenburg. Street Figure in Grey Planes. 1960
Cardboard, wood, cord, wire, painted with casein
Museum Ludwig Cologne / Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung

GLENN LOWRY: In 1960, Claes Oldenburg lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, then a neighborhood of dilapidated buildings and garbage-strewn sidewalks. It inspired him to create a body of work called The Street, which debuted at The Judson Gallery. Oldenburg presented a slightly different version of The Street in The Reuben Gallery. Most of works you are looking at here are from that later exhibition.

CLAES OLDENBURG: The Street was the outgrowth of living on the Lower East Side—walking every morning through the Lower East Side to my work at Cooper Union and back in the evenings. I was working in the library at Cooper Union, which was very helpful, because I could study all sorts of things while working.

GLENN LOWRY: Curator, Ann Temkin.

ANN TEMKIN: All of the works were made of cardboard, they were crumpled, they were torn, they were cut. Even the way that the materials were painted with black paint around the edges made it feel like they had been charred—left over from having been in a fire.

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