Claes Oldenburg: Strange Eggs

September 20, 2012 @ 1:30 pm – February 3, 2013 @ 3:30 pm
The Menil Collection
1515 Sul Ross Street
Houston, TX 77006

For more than fifty years Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929) has surprised, humored, and disoriented audiences with his unconventional use of media and scale to depict ordinary objects. The latest exhibition at the Menil Collection,Claes Oldenburg: Strange Eggs, will showcase a remarkable group of collages by the Swedish-born American artist. These works, amalgams of commercial advertisements and newspaper and magazine images, are some of Oldenburg’s earliest known pieces and represent a pivotal moment of experimentation in his prolific career.

Completed over the course of two years after Oldenburg moved to New York City from Chicago in 1956, the exhibition’s eighteen collages feature self-contained forms that the artist made by seamlessly melding fragments cut from magazines purchased near his apartment on the Lower East Side. While many of the arrangements are unidentifiable, within them some original references remain: a piece of pie, the hind legs of a horse, a tree branch, the creased skin of a clenched fist, the texture of concrete. The process of combining art and everyday life would later define Oldenburg’s work.

Claes Oldenburg: Strange Eggs will be installed in the galleries housing the Menil’s collection of Surrealist art, setting up a conversation between Oldenburg’s work and that of forebears such as Max Ernst, René Magritte, and Yves Tanguy. Viewers will recognize the artists’ shared desire to create startling and evocative juxtapositions using material from the everyday world to alter the way we think about reality.

Claes Oldenburg: Strange Eggs, organized by Michelle White, Curator at the Menil Collection, offers a similarly rare glimpse into the artist’s early investigational works that were harbingers of the colossal objects to come.

Browse the Event archive. Category: . Tags: , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.