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Sculpture by the Way: Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen
by Laura Tansini

Coosje van Bruggen and Claes Oldenburg met in January 1970, during the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art’s Oldenburg retrospective (the show was organized in 1969 by the Museum of Modern Art). At the time, van Bruggen, a well-known art historian, writer, and curator, was a member of the curatorial staff at the Stedelijk. Oldenburg was already a celebrated artist, born in Stockholm but raised in the U.S. (his father was a Swedish diplomat). In 1976, Oldenburg and van Bruggen worked together for the first time on the reconstruction and relocation of the 41-foot-tall Trowel I (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo). They married in 1977. In 1981, they jointly signed their first work, Stake Hitch, a large-scale indoor sculpture commissioned by the Dallas Museum of Art. Since then, they have both signed all of their work.

Dropped Flower, 2006. Polyurethane foam, fiber-reinforced plastic, felt, burlap,
rope, aluminum, copper, expanded polystyrene, and paint, 116 x 196 x 290 in.

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