Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen
A Closer Look
Spoonbridge and Cherry is an excellent example of proportion in sculpture. It is a gigantic version of a spoon that you would use to eat an ice cream sundae, but the end of this spoon could be a seat! Such emphasis draws a lot of attention to this artwork, even from far away. Find an ordinary object around your home. Create a diorama with the actual object in an outdoor setting, making it much bigger in proportion to its surroundings than it would be in real life.
About the Sculpture
Located in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Spoonbridge and Cherry is an enormous sculpture. The top of the cherry is thirty feet from the ground and the spoon is more than fifty feet long. The sculpture sits in a small pond and the cherry is a fountain. Van Bruggen says that artists who work in urban settings often think about objects in relation to things they see around them, like buildings and highways.Oldenburg says "I get very inspired when I eat, for some reason."
About the Artists
Claes Oldenberg began making art as a young person living in New York's Lower East Side. He created his first large-scale sculptures out of fabric and plastic. They included everyday objects like a big, soft electric light switch and a large floppy hamburger on a bun. Oldenberg's first huge metal sculpture was a giant clothespin on a street in downtown Philadelphia.
Coosje Van Bruggen worked as an art curator in her native country of the Netherlands and wrote many books about artists. Since 1978 she has collaborated with Claes Oldenberg. Together they have made over forty sculptures, each one especially designed for a particular place. This kind of work is called "site-specific." Their artworks are located mainly in cities in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
Write About It
- Make a list of what you see.
- How did the artist use the elements and principles of design?
- What do you think the sculpture means? How does it make you feel?
- Select two sculptures to compare & contrast.