Claes Oldenburg

Bedroom Ensemble

1963
"I remember a bedroom ensemble I saw in a motel along the highway … and they had rooms furnished according to some animals … I was struck by the humour of them. They had a pseudo-functionalist look – like they were made to be enjoyed or to be seen rather than used." Bedroom Ensemble is rich with ironic humour. The artist employs hard surfaces, sharp corners and a cold, stark atmosphere to render what he calls the “softest room in the house and the one least associated with conscious thought.” The furniture shapes are skewed, giving an exaggerated sense of depth. The illusion continues through the commercial imitations of marble, fur and leather. Even the apparently abstract expressionist painting is made from decorating fabric. None of the furniture is real and none of the accessories operate: the entire work is an illusion of functionalism.
Title
Bedroom Ensemble
Date
1963
Medium
Sculpture
Materials
wood, vinyl, metal, artificial fur, cloth, and paper
Dimensions
installation space: 3 x 6.5 x 5.25 m
Nationality
American
Credit line
Purchased 1974
Rights
© 2000 Claes Oldenburg
Accession number
18122

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