Geometric Mouse Scale D (Paper) „Home Made“, 1971
Cardboard, metal chain, flexible object, die-cut, laminated, offset print on paper
19.6 x 16.6 x 0.3‘‘
Claes Oldenburg is one of the most important American Pop artists. In 2012, mumok presented a comprehensive retrospective of Oldenburg’s early works, while the exhibition Ludwig Goes Pop included one of his major works—the legendary Mouse Museum, which is part of the mumok collection. This stylized mouse is a central motif in Oldenburg’s oeuvre, also featuring in two editions by Oldenburg that are available to all art lovers from mumok.
With his sculpture Geometric Mouse, Claes Oldenburg created a miniature resume of his pioneering art in the 1960s. In just one figure, he combines trivial culture and high art by reducing the famous silhouette of Mickey Mouse to basic abstract geometrical shapes—circle and square, geometrical and organic form. This was built as a large steel monument for the Oldenburg retrospective in the Museum of Modern Art in 1969, and in 1971 Oldenburg made an edition of smaller “mice.” This has now become a much sought-after collectors’ item while also corresponding to the Pop Art aim of bringing art to a broader public. Like Oldenburg himself, Mickey Mouse was “born” in 1929. This is the artist’s alter ego: “The Mouse, that’s me.”