Soft Light Switches 'Ghost' Version
Date 1963
Medium Liquitex and graphite on canvas with filling, mounted on wood panel
Dimensions 132.1 x 132.1 x 24.1 cm
Inventory ID UID 102-413
Born in Sweden, Claes Oldenburg was raised in the United States from 1934. He studied art and literature at Yale from 1946 to 1950, attended the Chicago Art Institute from 1952 to 1954, then left for New York. In 1960–61 he held two exhibitions that were important for his career: The Street and The Store. The first of the two, The Street, was an environment of cardboard. The second was a boutique in which plaster objects were sold, dripping with paint. He held performances called ‘happenings’, aspiring to ‘forget the notion of art’. Beginning in 1962, Oldenburg made ‘soft sculptures’ using objects from daily life as a starting point. These ‘soft’ forms had multiple identities that interested the artist. ‘The main reason for making a soft version of a known hard object may be (I think more and more it is) to dramatize or isolate the condition of softness. And other conditions such as the response to “gravity” – this condition under which objects appear to exist, and we as objects, as matter, appear to exist’, he said in 1969. From the 1980s on, Oldenburg worked on ambitious large-scale projects with his wife the Dutch artist Coosje van Bruggen. J-FC
Painter's heirs; Sotheby's Parke Benet auction, New York, 6 November 1979; Galerie Katia Granoff, Paris; Drapper Fine Arts LTD, Lausanne; acquired in 2003.