Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen
Monument to the Last Horse, 1991
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen were longtime friends of Donald Judd. During a visit to Chinati in 1987, Judd pointed out a crumbling concrete marker on the grounds of the former fort that indicated the grave of Louie, the alleged last cavalry horse who was laid to rest in 1932. As a gift to the museum, Oldenburg and van Bruggen created their version of an equestrian sculpture in 1991. It represents an alternative monument to Louie and a sly reference to the former military history of the site. It is inscribed, as was the former marker, with the phrase Animo et Fide or “spirited and faithful.” The work is made from aluminum and polyurethane foam painted with a high performance Fluoropolymer in a custom color called “Horseshoe Brown.” It measures 20 x 18 x 13′.
Claes Oldenburg was born in 1929 in Stockholm, Sweden, and died in 2022. Coosje van Bruggen was born in 1942 in Groningen, The Netherlands, and died in 2009. Major exhibitions include: Claes Oldenburg with Coosje van Bruggen: Drawings, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO (2018–19); Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen: The Music Room, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2009); Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen: A History of Sculpture, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy (2006–07); Notebook Pages: A Dialogue, Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas (2003); Claes Oldenberg with Coosje van Bruggen: Drawings 1992–1998, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2002); On the Roof, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2001); Claes Oldenberg, Coosje van Bruggen (sculptures, models and drawings together with the large scale project Lions Tail for the Piazza San Marco), Coner Museum, Venice, Italy (1999); Il Casa del Coltello (performance), Arsenale, Venice, Italy (1985).