PHOTOS: Artists Behind DAM’s ‘Big Sweep’ Sculpture Are The Focus Of A New Exhibit

Corey H. Jones/CPR News
The “Big Sweep” sits outside the Denver Art Museum in the Golden Triangle neighborhood, which was certified as a creative district by the state of Colorado in June 2016.
Photo: Big Sweep Public Art Outside Denver Art Museum
The "Big Sweep" sits outside the Denver Art Museum in the Golden Triangle neighborhood, which was certified as a creative district by the state of Colorado in June 2016.

Denver Art Museum's iconic broom and dustpan sculpture are the focus of a new exhibition at the museum.

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen are known for taking mundane objects and transforming them into imaginative and often enormous sculptures, like the "Big Sweep" piece permanently installed outside.

This new exhibit focuses on the artists' drawings, including an exclusive presentation of eight sketches of the "Big Sweep." The museum’s curator of modern and contemporary art, Becky Hart says, “Drawings are the tool that an artist uses to develop their thoughts.”

There’s an emphasis on Oldenburg, with works spanning 40 years of his artistic career.

“The drawings in this show demonstrate Oldenburg’s agility and wit,” Jules Augur, who curated this show, says. “His stunning leap of imagination to go from portraying everyday objects as ideas for grand monuments... was a huge breakthrough.”

The exhibition features artwork on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Oldenburg and van Bruggen studio and the Ryobi Foundation Collection.

Claes Oldenburg with Coosje van Bruggen: Drawings” runs Oct. 7, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019 at the Denver Art Museum.