philine

13 Nov 2019 75 views
 
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photoblog image Claes Oldenburg, Pickaxe (1982)

Claes Oldenburg, Pickaxe (1982)

 

spotted in Kassel at the Fulda river

 

"Claes Oldenburg's Pickaxe, which was created for documenta 7 in 1982, stands on the bank of theFulda. The "Pickaxe" is 12 metres high, and looks as if it were suspended in the air, but, in fact, weighs 5 tonnes. On one of his walks through Kassel,Oldenburg once saw a pickaxe stuck in a mound of earth behind the Orangery. He took a photograph of it, and later produced the outlines of a model of this pickaxe.

A look at the Kassel city map with the approximately 6 kilometre Wilhelmshöher Allee, which leads straight from Wilhelmshöhe Castle into the centre of Kassel, inspired him to create this work.

Wilhelmshöher Allee ends at Brüder-Grimm-Platz, and Claes Oldenburg drew in an extension of this straight line in an eastern direction on the city map. In so doing, he discovered that this line touches the bank of the Fulda at precisely the point at which he had photographed the pickaxe. He decided to place his documenta work of art in this very spot, in order to establish the relationship between the Pickaxe and the city of Kassel.

Just like Walter de Maria with his "Vertical Earth Kilometre", Claes Oldenburg was also fascinated by Kassel's axes. The location is selected in such a way that it corresponds to a straight trajectory from the Hercules monument.  In order to adapt it to its environment, the Pickaxe had to be on a larger scale than a pickaxe that would have fitted the Hercules monument in terms of scale." The inhabitants of Kassel are of the meaning that Hercules himself did throw this pickaxe to the river.

 

 

Claes Oldenburg, Pickaxe (1982)

 

spotted in Kassel at the Fulda river

 

"Claes Oldenburg's Pickaxe, which was created for documenta 7 in 1982, stands on the bank of theFulda. The "Pickaxe" is 12 metres high, and looks as if it were suspended in the air, but, in fact, weighs 5 tonnes. On one of his walks through Kassel,Oldenburg once saw a pickaxe stuck in a mound of earth behind the Orangery. He took a photograph of it, and later produced the outlines of a model of this pickaxe.

A look at the Kassel city map with the approximately 6 kilometre Wilhelmshöher Allee, which leads straight from Wilhelmshöhe Castle into the centre of Kassel, inspired him to create this work.

Wilhelmshöher Allee ends at Brüder-Grimm-Platz, and Claes Oldenburg drew in an extension of this straight line in an eastern direction on the city map. In so doing, he discovered that this line touches the bank of the Fulda at precisely the point at which he had photographed the pickaxe. He decided to place his documenta work of art in this very spot, in order to establish the relationship between the Pickaxe and the city of Kassel.

Just like Walter de Maria with his "Vertical Earth Kilometre", Claes Oldenburg was also fascinated by Kassel's axes. The location is selected in such a way that it corresponds to a straight trajectory from the Hercules monument.  In order to adapt it to its environment, the Pickaxe had to be on a larger scale than a pickaxe that would have fitted the Hercules monument in terms of scale." The inhabitants of Kassel are of the meaning that Hercules himself did throw this pickaxe to the river.

 

 

comments (12)

Quite a sight Philine, its very impressive, though without your explanation you would wonder why its there.
Philine: It is an interesting, funny story. Many thanks, Frank!
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 13 Nov 2019, 02:17
Some unfortunate worker got his pick stuck!
Philine: Haha - many thanks, Ray!
  • Chris
  • England
  • 13 Nov 2019, 06:35
This would be a nice surprise for somebody innocently walking along the river bank..
Philine: Yes, a surprise for us, too. I like this sculpture very much. Many thanks, Chris!
It reminds me of the kind of art we often see around the Netherlands, Philine. I like the people in the image to give it scale.
Philine: You are right, Ginnie - heel bedankt!
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 13 Nov 2019, 07:01
"The giant forgot to take it's pickage...." I love how the poeple put scale to this. And what a story behind it.
Philine: I like your comment. Heel bedankt, Astrid! Cl.Oldenburg loves to play with tools. You saw some sculptures by him in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
A fascinating story behind this Philine. I am glad you explained!
Philine: I like this story very much. Many thanks, Bill!
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 13 Nov 2019, 07:55
Interesting to read about the extension of the straight line, and the result, Philine
Philine: I like this sculpture very much. Many thanks, Lisl!
C'est toujours interessant de découvrir ces choses avec toi , merci beaucoup
Philine: Merci beaucoup, Claudine! J'aime tes comments.
  • Alan
  • United Kingdom
  • 13 Nov 2019, 08:24
Fascinating to learn of how the artist had the vision for this and then how the location for it was determined.
Philine: I like this sculpture very much. Many thanks, Alan!
  • Chad
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 13 Nov 2019, 08:34
Oldenburg is an interesting artist, but I do not like all of his work. I do like the playfulness of this though.
Philine: He likes to play with tools in a creative way. Here in Münster we have the three balls at the Aa-Lake. Perhaps you saw them. Many thanks, Chad!
In Maine, where Astrid and Ginnie recently visited, there is such a character, with an ox and a axe, who is said to have cleared the forest of Maine, allowing habitation.
Philine: I find your comment very interesting, thank you very much, Mary!
Quite an object!

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