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Soft Alphabet

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Letters have always been source of fascination for Pop Art artist Claes Oldenburg. Instead of abstract symbols, the letters of his ‘Soft Alphabet‘ are soft, rounded forms that are sometimes strangely twisted. Oldenburg wants to show the physical quality that script takes on when it is converted into sound by the ‘dance of the lips’ in the letter symbols themselves. This is why his letters often display almost physical behaviour.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title Soft Alphabet
Material and technique Wood, cotton and sand
Object type
Assemblage > Three-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Thickness 56.5 cm
Width 74.5 cm
Height 7.3 cm
Artists Kunstenaar: Claes Oldenburg
Accession number BEK 1586 1-43 (MK)
Credits Aankoop / Purchase: 1982
Department Modern Art
Acquisition date 1982
Age artist About 49 years old
Research Digitising Contemporary Art
Geographical origin The United States of America > North America > America
Geographical origin Sweden > Scandanavia > Northern Europe > Europe

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All about the artist

Claes Oldenburg

Stockholm 1929

Claes Oldenburg is of Swedish origin and studied art and literature at Yale University and subsequently, from 1950 to 1954, at the School of the Art Institute...

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