(American, born Sweden 1929)
Baseball Mitt, 1976 (printed 1975).
38 x 24.25 inches.
Gund Gallery Collection; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Graham Gund ’63.
Claes Oldenburg’s statues and sketches of everyday items imbue the mundane with imaginative possibility. The soft lines and muted colors of the baseball mitt suggest the simple and comforting nature that the pastime represents. The sketch-like quality of the lithograph speaks to the nostalgia of the mitt, nobly centered against a splotchy brown background. The celebration of this wistful affection alludes to the piece’s purpose as a study for the twelve-foot statue Oldenburg would later construct as one of his many monuments to middle class delights. Consistent with much of the Pop art movement, the piece honors a distinctly American emblem. In keeping with his effort to “give existence to fantasy,” Baseball Mitt evidences Oldenburg’s fondness for the spirit of the object he portrays.
Molly Donovan `16