Giant BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich)
Overall: 32 × 39 × 29in. (81.3 × 99.1 × 73.7 cm)
Gift of The American Contemporary Art Foundation, Inc., Leonard A. Lauder, President
Rights and reproductions
© Claes Oldenburg
Giant BLT, among the earliest of Claes Oldenburg’s soft sculptures, joins other cafeteria edibles in his work, such as the painted plaster reliefs he produced for his 1961 environment The Store, or his soft treatments of hamburgers, ice cream cones, and French fries. In 1962, Oldenburg discovered shiny vinyl fabrics, available in many colors, and found the material ideal for making malleable, mutable objects as alternatives to the hard and fixed forms of conventional sculpture. He began creating three-dimensional, monumental replicas of ordinary objects with the pliable fabric, stuffing his forms with various fillers to achieve an optimum degree of flaccidity. Here, he used kapok, a down-like substance. Giant BLT is composed of several layers—bread, bacon, lettuce, and tomato—pierced with a wooden toothpick. These components must be reassembled each time the sculpture is installed, a process that adds another level of flexibility to the composition.