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In the early 1960s, Claes Oldenburg redefined the concept of sculpture. This exhibition offers the most comprehensive overview of Oldenburg's early career to date, including The Store, the artist's best-known body of work from this period. In December 1961, Oldenburg rented a small storefront on East Second Street in New York City and filled it with handmade, brightly painted sculptures that evoked the everyday commercial products sold in stores throughout the neighborhood. Oldenburg created several iterations of The Store in the years following, and for this exhibition a large selection of Store sculptures and drawings are brought together to demonstrate the breadth and complexity of Oldenburg's vision and the daring inventiveness of his execution. Oldenburg's rarely exhibited installation The Street is also on view. Predating The Store, this seminal work was inspired by the gritty environs of the Lower East Side in the late 1950s.
A selection of Oldenburg's performances, which accompanied these early sculptural endeavors, is represented by films projected throughout the galleries. On view in The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium are the Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing. Created in the 1970s, these self-contained "museums" house careful arrangements of the artist's personal archives of American popular culture, along with various tests and experiments from his studio.
Pictured: Claes Oldenburg (American, born Sweden 1929). Pastry Case, I, 1961-62. Painted plaster sculptures on ceramic plates, metal platter and cubs in glass-and-metal case. 20 3/4 x 30 1/8 x 14 3/4” (52.7 x 76.5 x 37.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection. © 1961-62 Claes Oldenburg. Photo: MoMA Imaging Services
Venue Description: MoMA's rich and varied collection constitutes one of the most comprehensive and panoramic views into modern art in the world, and has grown to include over 135,000 paintings, prints, photographs, drawings, sculptures, films, and design objects. Visitors to New York City should make sure to stop in and view the collection during their vacations. Founded in 1929 as an educational institution, The Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world. Central to The Museum of Modern Art's mission is the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by the diverse local, national, and international audiences that it serves. The Museum of Modern Art seeks to create a dialogue between the established and the experimental, the past and the present, in an environment that is responsive to the issues of modern and contemporary art, while being accessible to a public that ranges from scholars to young children. MoMA also has three restaurants on the premises: Café 2, is the museum's sophisticated cafeteria; Terrace 5 is a full-service café where guests can indulge in creative savory selections, delectable pastries and ice cream sundaes, inventive specialty cocktails, micro-brewed beers, and carefully selected wines; and The Modern offers the original, Alsatian-inspired cuisine of Chef Gabriel Kreuther, recently awarded three stars by The New York Times.
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