For those not near the Walker, there is an Oldenburg in Philly, Center Square Building on Market Street, called “Clothespin.” because its holding it all together.
Son of a Swedish Diplomat
Oldenburg was born in Stockholm in 1929, the son of a diplomat who was posted to various European capitals before moving with his family to Chicago in 1936. his mother took a steamer back home so her son would not be born in America. She repeated that feat a few years later for his brother, Richard, who died four years ago.
Despite that both Oldenburg boys grew up in America. Claes (pronounced “Claus”) attended the selective college-prep Latin School; he went on to Yale, where he studied English along with art history. He also took classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Finally in 1953, Oldenburg became an American citizen and, then moved to New York. where he had his first one-man exhibition, at the Judson Gallery, in a church basement.At that time, Oldenburg was a painter, but he later recalled,
Becoming a sculptor
“As the spring wore on, I changed my mind, and eventually the show that was put on at Judson was much more radical, consisting of constructions—three-dimensional objects made out of scraps and street stuff. . . . It was really the difference between reality and illusion—the thing you could hold in your hand versus the painted image.”Claes Oldenburg
And that was how the double cheeseburger was born. The rest is abstract expression on steroids history.
Mr. Oldenburg was ninety-three when he did on July 18 2022 after a fall. His Mars btw, in the first house, is conjunct the Part of Art while Venus is conjunct the Part of Disputes. As they are trine he was bound to lock horns with the painterly (Venus) Abstract Expressionists, just like he was bound to get divorced from his first wife. He was a rather head strong man, frankly, at least art-wise, I’m glad he was.