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Coosje van Bruggen

“PREPARE YOURSELF TO SPEAK with Coosje van Bruggen,” the assistant on the other end of the line said. Little did I know what I was preparing myself for. The call came after I had first met Coosje at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles in 1981. I had just finished my MFA at CalArts, where I studied with Michael Asher (who introduced us), John Baldessari, and Douglas Huebler, among others. I showed Coosje my work and she asked her husband, Claes Oldenburg, to join us; two days later, the phone rang. She informed me that they wanted to acquire the piece we had talked about. They were the first people to buy my work. It always meant so much to me that SOURCE, The Photographic Archive, John F. Kennedy Library . . . , 1981, was installed in their home for many years, together with works by Donald Judd, Louise Lawler, Sol LeWitt, Lawrence Weiner, and, of course, Claes and Coosje.

Coosje emerged in

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