The 5-foot-plus "Giant Toothpaste Tube" is made of padded vinyl, as is the equally giant "Soft Toilet," both created in the 1960s.
Moving on to the kitchen, pop artist Claes Oldenburg has offered a toothsome "Giant Loaf of Raisin Bread, Sliced," made of foam-filled canvas in 1966-67, and an 11-foot "Leaning Fork with Meatball and Spaghetti III" in painted cast aluminum dating from 1994.The traveling exhibition of Oldenburg's work that has opened at the National Gallery of Art includes these works as well as studies for such familiar monuments as Philadelphia's 45-foot "Clothespin," and a wood model of the 51-foot "Spoonbridge and Cherry," built in 1988 over a pond in the sculpture garden of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
About 200 sculptures, drawings and collages from 1958 to the present have been assembled for the exhibition, "Claes Oldenburg: An Anthology." They include multiple examples of what National Gallery director Earl A. Powell III calls "his magical ability to transform everyday objects" and "alter forever our comfortable view of the world."
After the May 7 closing of this showing at the National Gallery, the exhibition will be seen at:
- Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, June 18-Sept. 3.
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Oct. 7-Jan. 21, 1996.
- Kunst-und-Austellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Feb. 15-May 12, 1996.
- Hayward Gallery, London, June 6-Aug. 19, 1996.