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Vinyl over canvas filled with kapok; wood, metal and cast plastic
Overall: 64.8 x 167.6 x 43.2 cm (25 1/2 x 66 x 17 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2004.88.a
© Claes Thure Oldenburg
Oldenburg kept the color and shape of the toothpaste tube he recreated true to reality, and instead changed the context, size, and state of his subject to render his object surreal and humorous.
Oldenburg became known in the 1960s for his involvement with New York counterculture figures in producing group performances called happenings and art films. Later in the decade, he mined ubiquitous consumer culture to create sculptures of commonplace objects rendered in monumental size through unexpected materials. Elevated from a banal household thing into a work of art, these works make the most everyday subjects strange, presenting them as if we were encountering them for the first time.
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