Sheldon Museum of Art


Date of this Version



Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, University of Nebraska- Lincoln. August 2001-November 2002.


All images are copyright by the original artists. Publication copyright 2002 The Regents of the University of Nebraska


Torn Notebook: The Creative Process features twenty artworks related to Torn Notebook, a large-scale public sculpture made by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen in 1996 and installed in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska. This exhibition focuses on one of their more recent public sculptures and celebrates the creative process that characterizes all serious artistic endeavors.

The unique artistic collaboration between Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, which began in 1976 with the installation of Trowel, a colossal hand tool installed permanently on the grounds of the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo, The Netherlands, has resulted in more than twenty-eight large-scale public sculpture projects around the world. These large sculptures, which are derived explicitly and unapologetically from everyday objects, are examples of Oldenburg's career-long desire to make art "that takes its form from the lines of life itself, that twists and extends and accumulates and spits and drips, and is heavy and coarse and blunt and sweet and stupid as life itself."2 Such public sculpture as the Batcolumn in Chicago, Clothespin, located in Centre Square in Philadelphia, Shuttlecocks at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, and Crusoe Umbrella in Des Moines, Iowa reveal their common interest in the familiar objects of life as worthy of monumental commemoration.