WOW – Work Of the Week – Claes Oldenburg “Sculpture In The Form Of A Bicycle Saddle”

Bicycle Saddle

Sculpture In The Form Of A Bicycle Saddle
Glazed brown ceramic with mahogany base and sand
14 x 8 1/2 x d: 8 1/2 in.
Edition of 36

Signed and numbered in ink on bottom

About This Work:

Claes Oldenburg is an American sculptor, commonly associated with the Pop Art movement, who has always been at the forefront of the Conceptual and Pop Art art culture. 
Born in 1929 in Sweden, Oldenburg spent much of his adolescence in the United States, before moving permanently to New York in 1956. Oldenburg studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and subsequently started his career in New York City, where he used to participate in the array of happenings that began to take place in the late 1950’s.

Using familiar, everyday objects as his recurring theme, the artist developed his soft sculptures idea in 1957—a practice he would return to throughout his career.
By the late 1960’s he was fabricating enormous sculptures for civic monuments, which are instantly recognizable and have inspired countless artists.

Many of Oldenburg’s works depict ‘mundane’ objects and, at first, they were ridiculed before being accepted by the art world – but they were also defined ‘brilliant’, due to the reaction that the pop artist brought to a ‘tired’ abstract expressionist period. 
Oldenburg first orders his impressions of the world through sketches and writings in his ever-present notebooks; then he creates models and drawings form another layer of thinking. 

Sculpture In The Form Of A Bicycle Saddle is a great example of Oldenburg’s personal way of making art.
The purpose of Oldenburg’s art is to uncover the mystery and power of commonplace objects by morphing their scale, shape, and texture, embracing what he calls “the poetry of everywhere”. 

A saddle is just a saddle, but when carved in to a mountain, held in place by a sand box, it becomes something else and we can look at it in the form of a work of art. The way in which the sculpture is carved, the glossy ceramic, the base made of sand and wood, the strange position of the saddle itself: every element in this sculpture seems to decontextualize the object and help it to become estranged, so that we are finally able to look at it in a different perspective – as a work of art.
This happens because the artist believes that this object possesses a certain aesthetic quality, stemming from its appearance, and therefore displays it for the appreciation of others.

Oldenburg has said himself that “If I didn’t think what I was doing had something to do with enlarging the boundaries of art, I wouldn’t go on doing it“. 

Oldenburg has exhibited extensively around the world and his works appear in almost every major international art museum. His famous oversized outdoor sculptures, done for civic and public purposes, changed the terrain of countless cities worldwide.

To possess an edition or multiple from this great artist is a unique opportunity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *