April 14–August 5, 2013
There is so much food represented among Claes Oldenburg’s sculptures, but that is not the reason why I am recommending this thrilling exhibit that examines _The Street and The Store, Oldenburg’s first two major bodies of work. The Street is an exploration of his Lower East Side neighborhood in 1960, and The Store is an actual store and performance space he set up in the East Village that sold objects and art pieces evoking everyday and commercial products. The exhibit is curated to emphasize the audacious and witty qualities of his work. While you are not allowed to touch the works — I almost ran into the giant soft sculpture “Floor Burger” — there is a strong sense of interactivity; Oldenburg’s energy plays throughout the exhibit. In contrast, the Claes Oldenburg: Mouse Museum/Ray Gun Wing exhibition on the second floor is very much enclosed with a claustrophobic feel, but the works in its glass cases are on a much smaller scale and require a different type of display and appreciation. Shared experiences are priceless, and this is an experience I highly recommend for you to share with Mom this Mother’s Day. It’s a celebration of the vitality of everyday life.