Philadelphia, PA, April 18, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- Conceptual artist and innovator Claes Oldenburg has won the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia’s Anne d’Harnoncourt Award for Artistic Excellence. Once a year, the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ABC) honors an artist who has achieved national or worldwide acclaim, embodies artistic achievement and serves as an inspiration to the Greater Philadelphia Region both as an artist and a leader.
Since the installation of the Clothespin in 1976, Swedish-born Oldenburg has steadily given Philadelphia a marked vitality and charm. At the core of Oldenburg’s artistic expression lies a complex simplicity – he finds the extraordinary in the mundane, using ordinary, everyday objects as the conduits for his vision; he quite simply has a knack for crafting the remarkable. From the Clothespin at City Hall, to the Giant Three-Way Plug in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s sculpture garden, to the Split Button, done together with Coosje van Bruggen, fronting the VanPelt Library of the University of Pennsylvania, Oldenburg reveals the splendor in the everyday that oftentimes evades even the most discerning among us.
The most recent of these public sculptures is the fifty-one foot high Paint Torch, marking the grounds of the newly opened Lenfest Plaza at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). The flaming orange brush of this imposing monument honors the rich legacy present in the act of painting, from the classical masters in PAFA’s galleries to the new works currently being produced by students. With the addition of the Paint Torch, Philadelphia boasts four public, large-scale Oldenburg and Oldenburg-van Bruggen sculptures; the largest number worldwide.
Oldenburg’s artistic influence transcends geographic constraints. An author of expertly crafted paradigms of figure, size and form, Oldenburg, in partnership with his wife, the late Coosje van Bruggen, has placed 45 large-scale projects in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Korea. These international structures range from the emblematic, cylindrical Spring work, marking the large-scale Cheong Gye Chon Restoration Project in downtown Seoul, Korea, to the playful Dropped Cone construct ornamenting the skyline of Cologne, Germany – each piece having its own symbolic whimsy.
The vision of Claes Oldenburg is timeless and possesses a weight and stature surpassing that of all of his works collectively. Oldenburg’s public sculptures within Philadelphia — and around the globe — are a daily source of inspiration and it is with great pleasure that the Arts & Business Council presents him this award.
About the Arts & Business Council Awards Celebration
Each year the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia convenes the business, legal, technology and creative communities to honor the leaders, innovators, volunteers, partnerships and organizations that make the Philadelphia Region a vibrant and exciting place to live and work. Claes Oldenburg and the rest of this year’s honorees will be recognized at Awards Celebration 2013, Wednesday, May 8, 2013 from 5:30 – 9 p.m. at Vie, 600 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia. For more information about the celebration please visit www.artsandbusinessphila.org/awards2013 or contact Anna Stokes at 215.790.3638 or firstname.lastname@example.org.