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The Month Ahead: Exhibits

MoMA showcases the everyday miracles of Claes Oldenburg

“GIANT B.L.T.” BY CLAES OLDENBURG / PHOTO BY DAVID HEALD

EXTRA ORDINARY

If you’ve ever walked through downtown Chicago and wondered what a 96-foot-long baseball bat was doing sticking out of the ground, then you’re already familiar with the work of Claes Oldenburg. The American sculptor is best known for dotting the world with absurdly large replicas of mundane objects—screwdrivers and spoons, binoculars and shuttlecocks. This month, New York’s Museum of Modern Art opens an exhibit showcasing some of Oldenburg’s earlier installations, such as The Store, which features the fanciful renditions of cigarettes, underwear, cakes and other products he displayed in a rented storefront on Manhattan’s Lower East Side back in the early ’60s. While these sculptures might not have the stature of Oldenburg’s 45-foot clothespin or even his 19-foot toothbrush, his impulse to wrench us away from the everyday is still apparent. Also, pretend sandwiches are fun. APRIL 14

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