PRINT January 2023


“OBJECTS PREVIOUSLY STILL begin to move. The Pizza becomes Fan. The Fan chops. Fragments fly”: Such are the koanic words of Claes Oldenburg, an artist who, at the time of his death this past July at the age of ninety-three, left behind a body of work that ranks among the most influential of the twentieth century. At the dawn of the postwar era of consumption, which ushered a host of new objects into the streets, stores, and homes of America, Oldenburg mounted a singular inquiry into the nature of things—their contexts and quiddities, their transmutability, their strange power. To celebrate the artist’s immense contribution—ranging from his Happenings of the 1950s, to his epochal installations The Street, 1960; The Store, 1961; and The Home, 1963, to the large-scale projects he made in collaboration with Coosje von Bruggen—Artforum has invited curator Achim Hochdörfer, artists Charles Ray and Rachel Harrison, and Oldenburg’s longtime gallerist Paula Cooper to pay tribute to the artist. Additionally, the magazine presents a portfolio of never-before-published photographs by Oldenburg, shot from the windows of his SoHo loft building in the final years of his life.