Roaming through MOMA's chockablock installation of highlights from Claes Oldenburg's early career, you can sense a febrile mind and lightning-speed hands digging out from under the sludge of late-term Abstract Expressionism. It's 1960, and for inspiration the Swedish-born (in 1929) painter is turning away from the sublime visions of the previous generation and toward the garish cornucopia of New York's mercantile frenzy. In one dashed-off drawing, two kids yip happily, a huge street sign hovering behind them. Oldenburg insists that you see the world through his eyes—and damned if that splattered slab of cardboard doesn't capture the jutting presence of a store sign, and who wouldn't look at those two chunks of wood and that blotched scrap of paper and see a pair of flags? Follow his gaze, and the abject blossoms... More >>>