Torn Notebook

Lincoln, Nebraska

Background History

Torn notebook was commissioned in March of 1995 by the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery. The artist that created this work of art was Claes Oldenburg. The sculpture was installed August 20th, 1996 and inaugurated September 6th, 1996. Claes got the idea for torn notebook from his old notebooks. After he was done with them he would rip the pages out and tear the notebook in half. The sculpture appears as if it had been tossed on the lawn between the campus of the college and the city. The sculpture appears to look like a bird rising out of the ground.

Artist Statement

Oldenburg's thought process through this sculpture was to write down notes in a pocket notebook. He then knew that a notebook sculpture with the different thins he had wrote down would be great sculpture for a university. The artist thinks the sculpture looks as if it was thrown on the lawn and is barely touching the ground. His wife also helped him create the sculpture and she thinks the sculpture represents free thinking thoughts and ideas. Communicated through this sculpture is the idea of being a free thinking college student but, also the maturity of an adult. This is why it's placed between the town and the campus of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

My Thoughts

I really like this sculpture. I like what it represents and the placement of the sculpture. The idea of free thinking is very well showed in this sculpture with the freeness of the spiral and pages. The sculpture would show a complete different point of view if it wasn't torn. This means Oldenburg represented what he wanted to with this piece very well. The placement between the campus and the town is also very well chosen. The piece also looks cool with the scattered pages through the yard. This sculpture is one of my favorite by Oldenburg.