Saw (Hard Version II) looks like a saw but has enough difference to provoke and even disturb the viewer. The original object is recognizable, yet the materials and scale are both altered. Oldenburg's version is much larger, even monumental and composed out of sculptors' media, such as aluminium and wood. The transformations make Oldenburg's saw unusable. The function changes from utilitarian to aesthetic. Oldenburg further deforms his saw by folding the blade in three parts. This emphasizes its lack of practical purpose. At the same time the modifications stress that Oldenburg's envisioned his saw as a piece of sculpture and thus as an art object. Oldenburg first sold such sculptures of mundane objects in The Store from December 1961 through January 1962. The Store is based on the surrounding neighbourhood shops in New York. His artworks on sale were priced from twenty-five to over eight hundred dollars. While the sculptures in The Store were different in form they were similar to Saw because they were all inoperative versions of utilitarian objects. Oldenburg's questioning of commerce and art, of functional and artistic value, epitomize the ideas of Pop art.
© Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen




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136 x 104 x 21.5cm.


aluminium, wood, paint

Object number

BA 2884