Oldenburg has consistently embraced contradiction to transform and animate the quotidian objects of his surroundings. In his art, hard becomes soft, miniscule becomes monumental, and as in Soft Calendar, flat becomes three-dimensional. Oldenburg's stuffed fabric sculptures originated in 1962 as props in his happenings and evolved into independent works of art. The giant numbers of Soft Calendar are sensuously rounded, pillowlike shapes whose overlapping arrangement asserts their volumetric nature. Once his canvas forms were established, Oldenburg painted the sculpture's surface, calling out each Sunday in brilliant red and covering the remaining days of the week in shiny white enamel.
[Green Gallery, New York, until 1963; sold in April 1963 to Newman]; Muriel Kallis Newman, Chicago (1963–2006; her gift to MMA)
New York. Green Gallery. "Claes Oldenburg: The Store," September 24–October 20, 1962.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Directions in Contemporary Painting and Sculpture: 66th Annual American Exhibition," January 11–Febuary 10, 1963, no. 70.
Worcester, Mass. Worcester Art Museum. "The New American Realism," February 18-April 4, 1965, unnumbered cat.
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Claes Oldenburg," September 25-November 23, 1969, no. 43.
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. "Claes Oldenburg," January 16-March 3, 1970, no. 38.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "An American Choice: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection," May 21–September 27, 1981, unnumbered cat. (p. 51).
Sydney. Art Gallery of New South Wales. "Pop Art, 1955–70," February 27-April 14, 1985, unnumbered cat. (p. 74).
Brisbane. Queensland Art Gallery. "Pop Art, 1955–70," May 1-June 2, 1985, unnumbered cat.
Melbourne. National Gallery of Victoria. "Pop Art, 1955–70," June 26-August 11, 1985, unnumbered cat.
Berlin. Martin-Gropius-Bau. "Amerikanische Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert: Malerei und Plastik; 1913–1993," May 8–July 25, 1993, no. 170.
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "American Art in the 20th Century: Painting and Sculpture 1913–1993," September 16–December 12, 1993, no. 170.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Abstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 17, 2007–February 3, 2008, extended to March 2, 2008, no. 62.
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Claes Oldenburg: The Street and The Store," April 14–August 5, 2013 (checklist no. 122).
Sidney Tillim. "New York Exhibitions: Month in Review." Arts Magazine 37, no. 2 (November 1962), ill. p. 37 (installation photo of exh. New York 1962).
Lucy R. Lippard, ed. Pop Art. New York, 1966, fig. 85 (installation photo of exh. New York 1962).
Hilton Kramer. "Modernist Show Moves Met Firmly into Art of 20th Century." New York Times (May 22, 1981), p. C21.
William Agee. "Muriel Kallis Newman–Life Among the Moderns." Architectural Digest (December 1986), p. 70.
Coosje van Bruggen. Claes Oldenburg: Nür ein anderer Raum. Exh. cat., Museum für Moderne Kunst. Frankfurt, 1991, fig. 87 (installation photo of exh. New York 1962).
Germano Celant, Dieter Koepplin, Marla Prather, and Mark Rosenthal, ed. Claes Oldenburg: An Anthology. Exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. New York, 1995, figs. 75 (installation photo of exh. New York 1962) 87.
Marla Prather inAbstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Gary Tinterow, Lisa Mintz Messinger, and Nan Rosenthal. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 200–03, no. 62, ill. (color).
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 2012, p. 425, ill. (color).