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  • Figure Looking through Legs by Claes Oldenburg

Figure Looking through Legs by Claes Oldenburg

Petersburg Press

Color Etching and Aquatint


Edition Size: 60

Image Size: 12.5 x 9.3 inches

Sheet Size: 25.3 x 19.75 inches

Reference: Richard Axsom and David Platzker, Printed Stuff: Prints, Posters and Ephemera by Claes Oldenburg A Catalogue Raisonné 1958-1996 Hudson Hills Press in association with Madison Art Center Wisconsin, New York 1997, no 163, illustrated p. 308


Condition: Excellent

Details — Click to read

Soft-ground etching and aquatint in two colors “à la poupée” on cream, thick, moderately textured Velin Arches. Two runs from two plates: Blue and red. Signed by the artist and dated lower right in pencil. Numbered 1/60 lower left in pencil. Copyright blind stamp lower center. Based on the drawing: Figure Looking through Legs, [date unknown], pencil on paper.

A woman peeks through her legs in this cheeky Claes Oldenburg etching printed in red and blue. The artist has recorded her skirt as a weightless frenzy of lines, and allowed the natural cream color of the paper to show beneath her skirt. A crown of hair hangs close to the ground, which is defined by a single stroke each of blue and red. The array of shades Oldenburg coaxes from two plates is remarkable, achieved by printing “à la poupée”, in which multiple colors can be applied to the plate for printing at one time.

As recorded in the artist’s unpublished notes: “In 1974 an ambitious project for a suite of large-scale etchings was hatched with Paul Cornwall-Jones, for production by Maurice Payne in Petersburg Press’s new Pembroke studios in London. The project would consist of meticulous transcriptions of a certain group of drawings on sexual themes done in the mid-sixties, most of which had never been exhibited. These were supplemented by a number of works in the same vein transcribed from other drawings of the late sixties and early seventies, as well as new drawings invented on the plate.”



The Artist

Claes Oldenburg

A very public artist, Claes Oldenburg is the artist behind a number of high profile public sculptures seen in cities in the United States. His works are typically highly creative and include the clothespin near City Hall in Philadelphia, a giant rubber stamp in Cleveland, and a giant tube of lipstick on caterpillar tracks at Yale University. The Swedish-American artist studied art history and literature at Yale University between 1946 to 1950 and was a member of the Pop Art movement in the 1960s. A prize winning artist, Oldenburg has had his work displayed at the Whitney, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Gallery.

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