Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen Installation "2009 - Typewriter Eraser" near Mandarin Oriental

This page last updated on 03/24/2018

The ArtistClaes Oldenburg was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1929. After living in New York City, Rye, New York, and Oslo, Norway, he moved to Chicago in 1936. Oldenburg attended Yale University from 1946 to 1950 and became an American citizen in 1953. His wife, Coosje van Bruggen, was born in 1942 and died on January 10, 2009. She was a sculptor, art historian, and critic and collaborated extensively with her husband. Claes Oldenburg is best known for his public art installations typically featuring large replicas of everyday objects. Another theme in his work is soft sculpture versions of everyday objects.
The Installation: Located near the pedestrian bridge near Mandarin Oriental, one of the best examples of celebrated pop artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen is this four-ton, 24-foot-high fiberglass and steel red and blue Typewriter Eraser, Scale X. This typewriter eraser will be familiar to people who grew up in 1950s and '60s. The eraser was used to erase mistakes made while typing, and the brush was meant to brush away the residue. Most of us though, just blew it away. This playful use of a common everyday object, one that is possibly unknown to recent generations, is a unique experience, meant to elicit humor and curiosity.

(Fig. 01)