When Claes Oldenburg was a child, he played with a toy version of the 1937 Chrysler Airflow, the first car designed according to aerodynamic principles. Profile Airflow (1969) was inspired in part by that memory. The artist, known for his soft sculptures based on everyday objects, wanted it to be “clear in color, transparent like a swimming pool, but have a consistency like flesh.”
He credits Kenneth Tyler, master printer and cofounder of the print making workshop Gemini G.E.L., for collaborating with industrial chemists over more than two years to develop a polyurethane material that was at once solid, flexible, and transparent. The resulting artwork is a molded polyurethane relief over a lithograph.
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.