System of Iconography--Plug, Mouse, Good Humor, Lipstick, SwitchesArtist(s)Claes OldenburgArtist NationalityAmerican (North American)Object Creation Date1970Medium & Supportlithograph on paperDimensions
28 1/8 in x 23 3/8 in (71.44 cm x 59.37 cm);32 1/8 in x 26 1/8 in (81.6 cm x 66.36 cm)Credit LineGift of the Marvin Felheim CollectionSubject matter
Originally designed by Oldenburg for the June 1970 cover of Studio International,
this print was part of a later edition published the following year. He released a humorous statement along with the Studio International
cover saying, "The drawing is self-explanatory: these objects have attained a status of demi-gods in my work, producing off-spring in the disguise of other objects. The family relation of my subjects becomes evident. Drawings in this manner attempt to establish a lineage, binding my choices together into a "house"."
All of the objects drawn here Oldenburg produced as sculptures in variations in larger scales. For example, the Detroit Institute of Art has a hanging wooden sculpture, titled "Giant Three-Way Plug" from the same year he designed the cover. Following his iconic 1961 project, "The Store," his adaptation of Pop critically engaged with America's celebration of mass consumerism as well as with the history of art.
Source for the Quote:The Tate Gallery Report 1972–1974.
This print has a series of images on a drawn grid. They include flat images of a threeway plug, a figure resembling Mickey Mouse, a tube of redish orange lipstick, and a pink Good Humor popsicle. The objects are arranged two by two on a gridded back ground. Labels accompany the individual objects: "three way plug", "geometric mouse", "lipstick", and "good humour", respectively. In addition, behind the lipstick there is a drawing of a light switch that is labeled "switches". The print is numbered (l.l.) "210/250" and signed (l.r.) "Oldenburg" in pencil.Primary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaModern and ContemporaryRights
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American (North American)
Objects of adornment
Pop (fine arts styles)
Swedish (culture or style)
modern and contemporary art