Curated by: Achim Hodchdörfer, Curator of the Museum Moderner Kunst StiftungLudwig Wien (mumok)
Sponsored by: Fundación BBVA
Venues: mumok Vienna, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Guggenheim MuseumBilbao, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Walker Art Center inMinneapolis
Co-organized by mumok Vienna and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, "Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties" is the largest show to date dedicated to the path-breaking, emblematic, early work of the 1960s by Claes Oldenburg (Stockholm, Sweden, 1929), one of the most influential artists since the 1950s. The presentation in Bilbao has been made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Fundación BBVA, and with support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.
With his ironic and sharp witted representations of everyday objects from the 1960s, Oldenburg made a huge contribution to renovating the North American art scene, and is a major figure in performance art, installation art and Pop Art. However, his multifaceted body of work goes much further. He has also had a profound influence on art in public spaces with his monumental large-scale projects in numerous major cities worldwide, created in partnership with Coosje van Bruggen.
One central point of reference in Oldenburg's oeuvre is the industrially produced object—the object as commodity, which in ever new metamorphoses of media and form becomes a conveyer of culture and symbol of the imagination, desires, and obsessions of the capitalist world.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao will showcase a magnificent selection of nearly 300 works on Museum's second floor galleries. The exhibition will begin with the installation The Street and its graffiti-inspired depictions of modern life in the big city, and continue to the famous consumer articles of The Store and to the spectacular everyday objects of the "modern home."
The exhibition also dedicates a section to Oldenburg's early designs for public spaces around the world and to his emblematic Mouse Museum, a walk-in miniature museum in the form of a Geometric Mouse, for which Oldenburg has collected 381 objects since the late 1950s.
Lastly, owing to the Claes Oldenburg's close collaboration on the project, the exhibit will also include a series of works that have rarely or never before been seen: drawings, photographs and films by the artist himself, and especially notebook pages that offer unique insights into the witty thought processes of the artist.