Oldenburg is comin’ to town (again)

Photo by Molly Petrilla for the Gazette Arts Blog

Fans of Claes Oldenburg’s Split Button, rejoice! The well-known white sculpture, which has been outside Van Pelt Library since 1981, will receive another cross-town companion in the next year or so. The 81-year-old artist will create an outdoor paintbrush sculpture that will stand at more than 50 feet tall in a new Center City plaza (located on Cherry Street from Broad to 15th Street).

“What suggested itself here was a paintbrush because a paintbrush is a symbol of a type of art that has kind of gone out of fashion,” Oldenburg recently told reporters.  The brush will join Oldenburg’s Clothespin (1976), which sits on Market Street just west of City Hall and, one might argue, depicts a similarly antiquated object.

In honor of the Button‘s soon-to-be sibling, here are a few fun facts about Penn’s own Oldenburg piece:

What do you think of Oldenburg’s Button, Clothespin and proposed Paintbrush sculptures?


Filed under Visual Art

2 responses to “Oldenburg is comin’ to town (again)

  1. bob

    Oldenburg’s work is striking in its simplicity, yet he captures bits of the past that survive into the present. Sure, a lot of art is done these days using computer programs, but plenty of artists still use a brush. It’s great to have the Oldenburg button on campus and more of his work elsewhere in Philly.

  2. The most memorable aspects of Oldenburg’s works are perhaps, the colossal sculptures that he has made.

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