Created and Sold by Claes Oldenburg

Claes Oldenburg
Sculptures by Claes Oldenburg seen at Denver Art Museum, Denver - Big Sweep

Big Sweep

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Big Sweep by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen in the exterior of Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado was installed in June 2006. The colors were chosen to complement Denver’s clear blue skies and the scale was inspired by the vastness of Colorado's mountains and plains. It was made from stainless steel, aluminum, fiber-reinforced plastic; painted with polyurethane enamel it measures 31 ft. 4 in. x 25 ft. 4 in. x 15 ft. 1 in. (9.6 x 7.7 x 4.6 m).

Oldenburg and Bruggen say, "Riding a free city bus, we glimpsed sanitation workers demonstratively sweeping trash into dustpans as part of a campaign to keep Denver clean. The sight connected with a theme we had been working on, 'The Dustbin of History,' which featured brooms and pans in action. As we talked over lunch, the clear blue sky combined with the characteristic browns of the Denver cityscape to elicit the image of a colossal broom and dustpan, which had appeared in a drawing in that color scheme. We visualized slits placed in the pan to restate the tall, narrow apertures of the Ponti building. The tilt of the pan might represent the slope of the mountain range and the broom the wind at its foothills. We chose to represent the moment of contact, when the bristles strike the pan, adding some debris as well."

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