Oldenburg & van Bruggen: Tumbling Tacks


Commission for the Kistefos Museum, Norway
Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen
Tumbling Tacks, 2009

Holtermann Fine Art initiated the commission of Tumbling Tacks, a spectacular large-scale installation by American artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, which was unveiled at the Kistefos Museum in 2009.

The installation is comprised of four gigantic red and blue drawing pins that appear to be hurtling down a hillside at the Kistefos Sculpture Garden. The design is heavily inspired by the site's industrial history, with paper being a common denominator for both drawing pins and pulp which was once produced on this site.

Fabricated in Italy, the tacks are made of steel, fibreglass and gelcoat. Each of them measure 5.5 metres across and 2.25 metres high and weigh between 3.5 and 5.5 metric tonnes. They are bolted to the ground on concrete block yet give the impression of tumbling freely down the 45° hillside.

Claes Oldenburg, whose 'soft sculptures' of the 1960s are often associated with the vanguard of US pop art, turned to large-scale public sculptures in 1970s and started collaborating with his wife, the artist and art historian Coosje van Bruggen. Together, they created numerous large-scale projects until her death in 2009. Tumbling Tacks is their only project in Scandinavia and the first to be created in a natural landscape. 

Located on the site of the former Kistefos Pulp mill, the Kistefos Museum was founded in the 1990s with the purpose of preserving and promoting this industrial monument of national importance. The museum and its sculpture park present one of the most outstanding collections of contemporary art in Norway.


exhibition details


Kistefos Museum
Samsmoveien 41
3520 Jevnaker

Justine Do Espirito Santo