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Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

Latitude: 41.1602
Longitude: -8.658922

Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen
Plantoir, 2001
Stainless steel, aluminium, fibreglass, acrylic enamel
729 x 135 x 145 cm
Ed. 2/3
Coll. Fundação de Serralves — Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto. Work acquired in 2002 with funds from João Rendeiro, the EU and the Serralves Foundation

Claes Oldenburg (Stockholm, Sweden, 1929), who has been living in the United States since 1936, and Coosje van Bruggen (Groningen, The Netherlands, 1942 — Los Angeles, EUA, 2009) settled in New York in 1978. From 1976, they worked together on the creation of large-scale urban sculptures.

Plantoir is typical of the public site sculptures developed by this artistic team since 1976: giant, colourful sculptures, whose forms the artists glean from the most common objects of everyday life, which are installed in public spaces in articulation or contrast with their context. Seeking a form specifically designed for a garden setting, the artists developed the idea of the shovel until it reached its final shape as a curved ‘blade’, undulated on the outside and smooth on the inside, with its tip partly buried in the ground, giving the whole sculpture a directional force towards the ground, as if it was indeed being dug by the object. Removed from its original context, and with its massive change in scale, this familiar object gains a strange quality. The place chosen for the work’s installation allows it to be seen from three different perspectives: the pathway that encircles the Museum building; the Serralves Villa; and the street outside.

Plantoir was installed in the Serralves Park for the exhibition ‘Through Liquidambar Lane: Sculpture in the Park’, as part of Porto 2001: European Capital of Culture.

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