Mickey Mouse

Claes Oldenburg

American, born Sweden, born 1929

Mickey Mouse, 1968

  • Not On View

Lithograph on paper

Dimensions: 22 11/16 × 15 3/4 in. (57.6 × 40 cm)

Gift of Dr. Bernard J. and Mrs. Arlene D. Harris, 1991.29

Everyday objects undergo a surprising transformation in the work of internationally renowned artist Claes Oldenburg. Oldenburg's undeniable cleverness and relentless humor clearly inform how he handles the mundane in his work. Presenting one object while suggesting another, he challenges one's perception while engaging the notion of visual play. This perceptual game is conveyed most deliberately in Oldenburg's soft sculptures, the works for which he is best known. In 1977, Oldenburg began to collaborate with his second wife, Coosje van Bruggen. Their work focused on the creation of large-scale public works. The titles of these sculptures directly suggest their source in popular culture -- Pool Ball, Giant Switches, Flashlight, Fishing Pole, and Mickey Mouse, the latter being shown in this exhibition. By the early 1980s, Oldenburg and van Bruggen combined artistic efforts and took their work in two directions, one toward outdoor public commissions and the other toward more intimate, indoor sculpture.

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