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 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 polyurethane enamel. It measures 20 x 18 x 13'.

Claes Oldenburg was born in 1929 in Stockholm, Sweden. Coosje van Bruggen was born in 1942 in Groningen, The Netherlands, and died in 2009. Major exhibitions include: Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen: A History of Sculpture, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy (October 2006-February 2007); 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).


Related reading

Monument to the Last Horse by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

Monument to the Last Horse: Animo et Fide by Donald Judd