1961 Claes Oldenburg

In Claes Oldenburg's famous artist statement for the Environments, Situations, Spaces catalog (Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, 1961) he brings together an extensive list of associated forms and states that art can take in order to define vigorously his interest in the complexity of art and life. In "I am for an art that takes its form from the lines of life itself" he literally pictures a line that behaves and exists in our imagination in many diverse and familiar ways "that twists and extends impossibly & accumulates and spits and drips, and is sweet and stupid as life itself." He calls for art that one can smell or hear or smoke, that one can touch and interact with, that is a joke, that makes no sense or that eventually fulfills a function; "art you can sit on" and "art that does something other than to sit on its ass" within the context of an established art institution. Oldenburg is "for an artist who vanishes, turning up in a white cap painting signs or hallways" and "for the art of bread wet by rain."