Screwarch (1982) Claes Oldenburg

Korries Besems
About the artwork

In 1976 Claes Oldenburg temporarily lived in Deventer and was impressed by the many arched bridges in the Netherlands. He often came to Rotterdam for a possible assignment for an object on the Coolsingel, but his project proposal for a huge screw on the Churchillplein turned out to be unfeasible. When Oldenburg heard about a project for the construction of a new Willemsbrug in 1977, he became very passionate about realizing one of his fantasies in Rotterdam: a bridge in the shape of a curved screw. In 1978 Oldenburg, then living in New York, was visited by director Wim Beeren of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Then the idea arose to set up a project around the screw bridge. It was agreed that Oldenburg would work for the museum on a project that would result in a model of the bridge, an etching and a sculpture. The design for a double screw arch bridge over the Maas was not feasible. Oldenburg completed the screw bow project in New York. In October 1982, a colossal screw bow, made in three separate parts, arrived by ship in Rotterdam, along with seventeen working drawings, a model, three etchings and various photos and documentation that formed part of the project. The exhibition for the public took place in the summer of 1983. The Screwarch consists of a curved, aluminum screw. So not straight, as one would expect, but bent, as if the material is limp and hangs under its own weight. Yet the object remains recognizable. Screwarch was placed in the Museum Garden, because the presence of water does justice to the original idea of ​​the bridge. For more information: Sculpture International Rotterdam.

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About the artist

Claes Oldenburg (Stockholm, 1929) developed into one of the most important artists of Pop Art in the 1961s. He grew up in the United States, where he studied art. Oldenburg makes collages and assemblages based on utensils that he finds on the street. In 1965 he opens The Store, a kind of exhibition in which he offers food and clothing made of painted plaster for sale. He also makes huge soft sculptures. From XNUMX he makes enlargements of everyday objects, which he provides with a monumental greatness. In the course of the seventies he started collaborating with art critic Coosje van Bruggen.

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