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Artist: Oldenburg, Claes 2 of 2 Previous Previous | Next Next

Giant Soft Ketchup Bottle with Ketchup, 1966-67

Claes Oldenburg

American, 1929-
Painted canvas filled with polyurethane foam
100 x 52 x 40 in. (254.0 x 132.1 x 101.6 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Museum Purchase with funds granted by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pasadena Art Alliance
P.1969.002
© 2008 Claes Oldenburg

Not on view

From performance in the 1950s to replicas of mass-produced commodities in the 1960s to colossal monuments in the 1970s and 1980s, Oldenburg has based his artistic career on quoting elements from our consumer culture. "Giant Soft Ketchup Bottle with Ketchup" is an example of the artist's noted series of "soft sculptures." Debuting in New York in the early 1960s, these radically innovative sculptures helped launch the Pop Art movement in this country. Mundane subjects such as food products and bathroom items were chosen for their usual and multifarious associations, and then blown up in size to monumental proportions. These works play off the disjunction between the familiarity of the objects and the shocking shift in scale. By replacing the original texture of the objects with soft materials, Oldenburg emphasized the sculpture's human, and often, sexual characteristics.

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Artist: Oldenburg, Claes 2 of 2 Previous Previous | Next Next