Further Information: The fan fold invitation contains a manual explaining how to fold a Micky Mouse for it to become three dimensional. Using the motif of the mouse for several exhibitions, Oldenburg also staged a mouse museum, about which curator Kaspar König wrote an essay. Oldenburg is most famous for monumentalizing every day objects into “giant objects,” usually this means an oversized burger blown up by the artist to a size of 1.32 by 2.13 meters, a floor burger made of foam rubber, covered with canvas, red-brown colored with latex and liquitex. Playing with over-dimensionality and unconventional materials, it was Oldenburg who introduced the concept of Soft Sculpture to the contemporary art. These are sculptures that could be potentially pounded like a punching ball, squeezed like a lemon, shaken like a sofa cushion. The journalist Petra Kipphoff described the exhibition at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in her review in Die Zeit as following: “Da hängt zum Beispiel eine riesengroße Säge an der Wand und setzt sich, dreifach, geknickt, am Boden in den Raum hinein fort; oder eine Schreibmaschine aus schwarzem Plastik sinkt lustlos in sich zusammen; oder aus einem Aschenbecher vom Format eines Goldfischteiches quellen malträtierte Zigarettenkippen.” (For example, a gigantic saw hangs on the wall and continues on the floor into the room with three bends; or a typewriter made of black plastic collapses listlessly; or maltreated cigarette butts pour out of an ashtray the size of a goldfish pond.)
From: Petra Kipphof, Der große Weichmacher. Zur Claes-Oldenburg-Retrospektive in der Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Die Zeit, 24 April 1970. Read full review under the following link.
Together with Jim Dine, Marc Ratliff and Tom Wesselmann, Oldenburg co-founded the Judson Gallery at the Judson Memorial Church in 1959. More about this project via an invitation card for the Benefit of Judson Memorial Church.
Images: Images of the invitation and all other archival documents shown on this page are part of the online collection of Archiv der Avantgarden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.