The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 14, 2024

Notes:  Untitled (Fire Plug)

Notes: Untitled (Fire Plug)

(American, 1929–2022)
published by
Sheet: 57.6 x 39.9 cm (22 11/16 x 15 11/16 in.)
© Claes Thure Oldenburg
Catalogue raisonné: Axsom and Platzker 55.4
Location: not on view


Oldenburg's art mixes his acute observations of everyday life in urban America with the fantasies that reality can inspire. Notes was "the first attempt to put into more permanent form the scribbles and scratches that occur on any handy fragment of paper during the day; they were collected in binders to be used later as source-material for more finished drawings and sculptures." While still preserving the informal quality of the notebooks, Oldenburg consciously organized these random sketches by grouping ones that relate formally to each other or, as he clarified, "A certain form or object, for some reason, in time/place, becomes obsessive and is metamorphosed into other forms and objects." Notes relates to a visit to Los Angeles and to Proposals for Monuments and Buildings, a series of drawings begun in 1965 that Oldenburg described, "I hit on the idea of placing my favorite objects in a landscape---a combination of still-life and landscape scales. By rendering atmosphere and the use of perspective, I made the objects seem 'colossal'...The project began as a play with scale, and that's what it seems to be about---the poetry of scale."
  • {{cite web|title=Notes: Untitled (Fire Plug)|url=false|author=Claes Thure Oldenburg, Gemini G.E.L|year=1968|access-date=14 June 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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