Tuesday, January 13, 2009

R.I.P. Coosje van Bruggen

Spoonbridge and Cherry

Sad news. Most of you probably have no idea who she is but I really admired her work and as a student of art history pop art always made me smile. You may recognize some of her collaborative sculptures - one is pictured above. She was an art critic, sculptor, and frequent collaborator with husband Claes Oldenburg (one of my favorite Pop artists).

From the NY Times:
Coosje van Bruggen, a critic, art historian and artist known for the colorful public sculptures she created around the world with her husband, the Pop artist Claes Oldenburg, died on Saturday in Los Angeles. She was 66 and had homes in New York and Beaumont-sur-Dême in the Loire Valley, France. The cause was breast cancer.

Over three decades, Ms. van Bruggen and Mr. Oldenburg created more than 40 public sculptures for parks, urban centers and museums. Typically, each piece depicts a monumentally sized object that often comments archly on its surroundings, like the giant up-ended “Flashlight” (1981), 38 feet tall and installed at the University of Las Vegas, or “Bicyclette Ensevelie” (“Buried Bicycle,” 1990), a mammoth bicycle that appears to be half-buried at Parc de la Villette in Paris.

Although their projects often engendered controversy, Ms. van Bruggen always adopted a matter-of-fact approach to persuading civic governments and mayors to embrace them.
“I’m the daughter of a physician,” she said in a 2006 interview, “and I always feel that every piece is a diagnosis.”

If you're interested you can read the entire obit in the NY Times here.

If you'd like to read more about Coosje and Claes you can visit their website here.


Jennifer said...

I was just there this weekend. It's such an iconic Twin Cities landmark. Sad news indeed.

Ana said...

This is a true loss to the art community.

Ana said...

and to those who are inspired by art.

Joe Mayer said...

This is truly sad, I have seen his work in the Twin Cities its magnificent and his inspiration that he left will always be reminscent for all artists.

Mrs. Blandings said...

I was just talking about her yesterday - this is so odd. She collaborated with her husband on a sculpture installation here in Kansas City that was very controversial. Very sad.