04.12.13 7:15 PM ET
Oldenburg Moved Art Ahead by Looking Back
This real pastry case full of plaster confections was made by Claes Oldenburg in 1962, and is in the show of his very early works that opens Sunday at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In researching my New York Times profile of him that just went up on the paper’s Web site, I came to realize that Oldenburg’s glance at American consumption was hugely retrospective. Rather than contemplating the shiny chrome of the Mad Men era, Oldenburg was looking back at the more modest material culture of his childhood during the Great Depression, when he first arrived in the U.S. from Sweden.
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