Inverted Q


ArtistClaes Oldenburg
MediaPainted Cast Concrete
Dimensions72" x 70" x 63"
LocationAkron Art Museum

The Inverted Q, made by pop artist Claes Oldenburg, was originally commissioned for an Akron park in 1973 by Mary and Louis Meyers. Excited by Akron's history in rubber Oldenburg originally wanted to make the sculpture in rubber but casting such a large object presented too many technical problems. Ultimately fabricated in concrete and then painted, it was Oldenburg's wife and collaborator Coosje van Bruggen who ultimately suggested the pink color of a child's rubber ball.


The maintenance of an outdoor sculpture requires periodic repainting as paint layers fade with prolonged exposure to unfiltered light. The pink color of the Q was no exception and in1998, and then again in 2009, the ICA got involved to restore the faded pink color. On both occasion the ICA made repairs to the concrete cast, sanded the surface of the old paint layer, chose color matches for the pink and collaborated with Austin Finishing to have the sculpture repainted. During this last repainting the museum was in the midst of building its new Coop Himmelb(l)au extension and the museum decided that it was time to offer more protection for its now iconic sculpture. Thus the new Coop Himmelb(l)au glass covered atrium with light filtered for ultraviolet rays became the new home for pink Q.

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