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Classification: Print

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Image of Hats, Vesuvius

Claes Oldenburg
American, born Sweden, 1929–2022

Hats, Vesuvius


Object Type: Print
13 1/2 in. x 17 1/2 in. (34.29 cm x 44.45 cm)
Medium and Support: Color lithograph on paper
Accession Number: 2009.0003.0005

Credit Line: Gift of Lila Franco in memory of her husband, Ralph Franco

Claes Oldenburg was one of the first and most significant contributors to the Pop Art movement. Known primarily for his installations and large-scale sculptures celebrating everyday banal objects, Oldenburg often worked out his ideas through drawings and prints. For example, This print relates to a monumental sculpture, "Hat in Three States of Landing", 1982 located in Sherwood Park, Salinas, California. In this sculpture Oldenburg, along with his wife and artistic collaborator Coosje van Bruggen (born Netherlands, 1942—2009), played with the idea of a hat tossed about by the wind and rolling through the park. In both the sculpture and the lithographic print, "Hats, Vesuvius," Oldenburg used a cowboy hat to explore ideas about the sculpture’s site adjacent to a rodeo ring and attendent Western masculinity. In the print Oldenburg reinforces the hat’s form, and perhaps equates imagery of an active volcano with a masculine trait of raw, explosive power.

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