Claes Oldenburg: Raw Notes
Published by The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
Paperback, 2005, 554 pages
Documents and Scripts of the Performances: Stars, Moveyhouse, Massage, The Typewriter, with Annotations by the Author
A giant spoon with an enormous red cherry snaking out of the earth, a humongous badminton birdie, an oversized piece of cake, squishy scupltures–these are some of the works for which Claes Oldenburg, the artist who helped redefine sculpture in the 1960s, is best known. However, because they have been less documented, Oldenburg’s happenings and performances have not been fully integrated into the critical discourse surrounding his work. Raw Notes, originally published in 1973, collects all of the material relating to his performances. According to his specifications, the text in the book is typed rather then set, and appears on only one side of the page. Examples of the original manuscript are reproduced in 63 script plates. These include stage plans, scores, sketches for programs, and posters. More than 200 annotations by the author expand the text. Raw Notes is indispensable as a document of the important aspects of Oldenburg’s work.