Oldenburg/van Bruggen, Tied Trumpet, 2004, aluminum, canvas, felt, polyurethane foam, rope, cord; coated with resin and painted with latex; plastic tubing, 50-1/2" x 23-1/2" x 15" (128.3 cm x 59.7 cm x 38.1 cm), Edition of 3 + 1 AP © 2019 Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen

Oldenburg Van Bruggen.jpg


Claes Oldenburg
b. 1929, Stockholm, Sweden
d. 2022, New York
Coosje van Bruggen
b. 1942, Groningen, Netherlands
d. 2009, Los Angeles

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Claes Oldenburg is renowned for his sculptures, drawings, and colossal monuments that transform familiar objects into states that imply animation and sometimes revolt.

A leading voice of the Pop art movement, Oldenburg came to prominence in the New York art scene of the late 1950s and early 1960s, where he established himself with a series of installations and performances influenced by his surroundings on the Lower East Side.

Moving from early environments such as The Street (1960), The Store (1961), and Bedroom Ensemble (1963), Oldenburg then developed a series of soft sculptures, created with the participation with his first wife Patty Mucha. These took as subjects ordinary, everyday objects, often enlarged, as did a series of fantastic proposals for civic monuments. His accumulation of studio miscellany eventually took form as the Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing (1965–77), which pioneered collection and display as forms of art.

In 1977, Oldenburg married curator and art historian Coosje van Bruggen, with whom he would collaborate for over thirty years. In addition to curatorial and lecturing positions, van Bruggen was the author of many articles and books including monographs on Bruce Nauman, Hanne Darboven, John Baldessari, and Claes Oldenburg. Together, Oldenburg and van Bruggen produced sculpture, drawings, performances, and colossal monuments that transform the familiar into the unexpected.


Oldenburg/van Bruggen, Knife Ship 1:12, 2008, aluminum and mahogany wood, 8-1/2" x 40" x 9-1/2" (21.6 cm x 101.6 cm x 24.1 cm), closed without oars, 27-3/4" x 82-3/4" x 37" (70.5 cm x 210.2 cm x 94 cm), fully extended with oars, (blades at 180 degrees; corkscrew at 90 degrees) 32-3/4" x 40" x 37" (83.2 cm x 101.6 cm x 94 cm), partially extended with oars, (blades and corkscrew at 90 degrees), Edition of 6 © 2019 Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen


Oldenburg/van Bruggen, Leaning Fork with Meatball and Spaghetti II, 1994, fiberglass painted with urethane, 10' 11-1/2" x 4' 3" x 3' 3" (334 cm x 129.5 cm x 99.1 cm), overall installed, 8' 1-1/2" x 1' 6-1/2" x 1' (247.7 cm x 47 cm x 30.5 cm), fork, 3' 3" x 4' 3-1/2" x 5' 4" (99.1 cm x 130.8 cm x 162.6 cm), meatball © 2019 Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen