I was first introduced to the breathtaking work of the Swedish-born, American sculptor Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929) back when I was living in Venice in 1999 during his exhibition at the Museo Correr in the Piazza de San Marco. His amazingly gynormous and charming sculptures of everyday objects fascinated me. Since then, I’ve seen many artists trying to emulate his work but none, frankly, gets even close to him.
Recently I was looking for a piece of contemporary work for an interior and to my surprise, I found this model by the artist of a sculpture he did in Philadelphia. How perfect is this!
The pin is consigned to Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia from the Estate of philanthropist and collector Jack L. Wolgin, who commissioned Oldenburg in 1974 to erect the 45-foot steel, 10-ton clothespin in downtown Philadelphia (shown below). It was ultimately unveiled during the bicentennial celebrations in 1976. I presume the cute and superb 45-inch model was given to Mr. Wolgin by the artist (shown above).
It is said Oldenburg linked his clothespin to Constantin Brancusi’s Kiss in the Philiadephia Museum of Art. It does look to me like the sculpture’s shape resembles two intertwining lovers … but then, that could just be my crazy imagination!
Image credit (above): Freeman’s. Claes Oldenburg, Model for Clothespin, 1974, 7/9, bronze and stainless steel with golden patina, estimate US$250,000 – 350,000, sale 6 November 2011.
Image credit (below): © courtesy Becca Dorstek