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Good Humor Bar on Park Avenue (model)

© Claes Oldenburg. Photography by Peter Paul Geoffrion

Good Humor Bar on Park Avenue (model)

Artist: Claes Oldenburg (Born in Stockholm, Sweden, 1929)
Culture: American
Date: 1971
Medium: Vinyl, fabric, Plexiglas, foam and polyester
64 x 31 x 12 1/2 inches (162.6 x 78.7 x 31.8 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. Tomilson Hill
Label Text:This is an excellent example of the work of Pop artist Claes Oldenburg. He is known for larger-than-life sculptures of every-day objects, re-created out of unexpected materials like fabric and vinyl. His works are intended to be humorous and their wide appeal reflects the artist's commitment to a democratic art available to all. Oldenburg wants his work to create a conversation with its viewers. The artist has stated, "The idea of endless public dialogue…visual dialogue…is very important…."

This work is a model for a monument intended for New York City's Park Avenue, where it would have towered among the skyscrapers. The space left by the "bite" in the fudge Popsicle would have allowed cars to drive under/through the artwork. It is part of a series called Proposals for Monuments and Buildings.

Like most in the series, this work was never realized on a huge scale, but it still subverts the traditional idea of a monument. Instead of serious, stoic and long-lived, this piece is slouchy, silly and made of materials that would quickly fall apart outdoors. The work invites the viewer to consider and re-consider the role of a monument by tapping into the "poetry of scale" that drives Oldenburg's work.

Object number: 2008.16.1