Gemini G.EL. is pleased to present an exhibition of selected lithographs, screenprints, and sculptural editions dating as early as 1968 by Claes Oldenburg on view in both the main and Frank Gehry building galleries. Also on view is the short film “Sort of a Commercial for an Icebag,” created by the artist and Gemini G.E.L. in 1969, and which documents the conception and installation of Oldenburg’s giant Icebag sculpture.
Profiterole, 1990, 5-color lithograph 31 1/4″ x 41″ (79.4 x 104.1 cm) Edition of 57, © 1990 Claes Oldenburg and Gemini G.E.L.
A leading figure in the Pop Art movement, Claes Oldenburg first began working at Gemini G.E.L. fifty years ago during a two-month stay in Los Angeles. Gemini’s portfolio Notes (1968) presents lithographs that resemble notebook pages with trompe l’oeil pieces of tape holding torn newspaper ads, photographs, and other scraps of paper onto the page. Within each work, the artist portrays different ideas for fantastical, surreal, and monumental architectural structures that alter the landscape and critique traditional memorials and public sculptures. Many images from the Notes series feature enlarged everyday objects situated in the L.A. landscape. For example, in P.O.P., Oldenburg envisions an ironic war memorial for Santa Monica’s Pacific Ocean Park that takes the shape of an enormous hydrogen bomb explosion. Sometimes the images are satirical and in other instances playful; in Body Buildings, two large buildings form a cropped torso and legs of a woman. There is also a sketch of a restaurant shaped like a human knee, and an early design for a tunnel freeway entrance in the shape of a nose, through which cars would enter and exit in and out of the nostrils. Oldenburg was interested in the surreal and psychological connections that could be made via free association, and are demonstrated here by clever groupings of shapes, words, and images.
Oldenburg’s interest in the human nose continued in Double-Nose/Purse/Punching-Bag/Ashtray, a multilayered Gemini sculpture started in 1968 and finished in 1970. In a small, limited edition book that accompanies the sculpture, Oldenburg relays that “Noses had become something of an obsession,” and how the sculpture is “a three-dimensional pendant” to the flat Notes series.
Claes Oldenburg, History of the Double-Nose/Purse/Punching Bag/Ashtray Multiple, 1970, (CO70-2003A) Leather covered book 4 1/2″ x 3 1/4″ (11.43 x 8.26 cm) Edition of 200
There are some wonderful stories exploring Oldenburg’s obsession with the human nose. Be sure to visit the website to read more.
On view: March 12 – May 11, 2018
What: Opening reception
Where: Gemini G.E.L. LLC , 8365 Melrose Ave., LA, 90069
When: April 7, 2018; 4-7pm;