Paula Cooper Gallery, 2004
Hardcover, 115 pages, 7.5 x 5.5 inches
This exhibition catalogue features a selection of 50 notebook drawings of food that Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen worked on together between 1987 and 2003. It was published in conjunction with an exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery, April 24–July 2, 2004.
Claes Oldenburg’s practice of working out ideas for drawings or sculpture on notebook pages started at the beginning of his career and continues today. In the late 1980s, when Coosje van Bruggen suffered from food allergies that severely restricted her diet, she suggested “a displacement of the senses—that which could not be eaten could be consumed with the eyes.” He started drawing small studies of appetizing dishes she selected from the menu as a way of sharing them with her. This playful activity quickly grew into an exchange between the two artists, with van Bruggen pointing out metamorphic qualities of specific dishes that lend themselves to an architectural scale, or Oldenburg volunteering drawn souvenirs of meals he had while away from her. The drawings display the two artists’ characteristic humor, poise and kinetic sculptural sense.