The sculptural group called Bedroom Ensemble is a recently manufactured replica (two others were also made) of a work first installed in New York in 1964 at the Sidney Janis Gallery. The dimensions of the space it occupies here are those of the Janis Gallery.
The use of fake fur in Bedroom Ensemble was inspired by a motel in Malibu, California, that Oldenburg had seen as a teenager. The furniture in each suite was upholstered in a particular animal skin.
The angular forms and artificial surfaces of Bedroom Ensemble were fabricated according to the artist's specifications and represent a departure from the soft, handcrafted works of the previous years. The ostensibly rectangular bed, vanity, and ottoman are actually built on an angle, creating rhomboid shapes and converting the objects into abstracted forms. Bedroom Ensemble belongs to a larger group of works based on domestic objects that Oldenburg calls "The Home."
"Subject matter is not necessarily an obstacle to 'seeing' pure form and color. Since I am committed to openness, my works are constructed to perform in as many ways as anyone wants them to. As time goes on and the things they 'represent' vanish from daily use, their purely formal character will be more evident: time will undress them. Meanwhile, they are sticky with associations."
Proposed Colossal Monuments