Claes Oldenburg | 7-Up | 1961
Enamel on plaster-soaked cloth on wire, 55 3/8 x 39 1/4 x 5 1/2 in. (140.7 x 99.7 x 14 cm)
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase and Bequest Funds, 1994.
Photography by Lee Stalsworth.
© 1961 Claes Oldenburg
In 7-Up, Pop artist Claes Oldenburg recreates a commodity of mass culture to show society's obsession with consumption. The recognizable soda pop logo has a twinge of irony in the artist's ruddy plaster rendition, gently squeezed in its middle like a real aluminum soda can. The Tremaines bought this work after visiting Oldenburg's Ray Gun Store, a shopfront in New York's Lower East Side from which he sold plaster re-creations of foodstuffs and merchandise for two months, beginning in December 1961. The couple got lost on the way to the store, encountering signs, places, and things that they then saw recreated in Oldenburg's studio. As Emily Hall Tremaine noted, Pop artists such as Oldenburg were "looking out, not in."