Claes Oldenburg Two Cheeseburgers, with Everything (Dual Hamburgers) 1962

  • Not on view

In December 1961, Oldenburg rented a small storefront on East Second Street in New York and filled it with handmade, brightly painted objects that recalled the products—shirts, watches, sausages, slices of pie—available for purchase in stores throughout the neighborhood. This marked the beginning of a multiyear project collectively referred to as The Store. The second iteration took place at the Green Gallery on Fifty-Seventh Street, a commercial enterprise in the center of midtown, a few blocks from MoMA. Taking advantage of the larger square footage available to him, the artist exhibited three oversize soft sculptures sewn by his wife, Patty Mucha, and painted by Oldenburg himself: an ice-cream cone, a piece of cake, and a hamburger. Alongside these colossi, he included smaller plaster works, including Two Cheeseburgers, with Everything (Dual Hamburgers), made just slightly larger than their real-life counterparts. The dissonance created by extreme shifts in scale would occupy the artist for the remainder of his career.

Two Cheeseburgers is a testament to Oldenburg’s ingenuity as a sculptor and his penchant for infusing work with witty and occasionally dark humor. Placed side by side and piled high with toppings, each burger, ostensibly an object to be eaten, also resembles a mouth ready to take a bite. When MoMA’s founding director, Alfred H. Barr, Jr., visited The Store, he purportedly purchased Two Cheeseburgers on the spot—an acquisition for the Museum’s collection.

Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
Medium
Burlap soaked in plaster, painted with enamel
Dimensions
7 x 14 3/4 x 8 5/8" (17.8 x 37.5 x 21.8 cm)
Credit
Philip Johnson Fund
Object number
233.1962
Copyright
© 2019 Claes Oldenburg
Department
Painting and Sculpture

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.