original multiple by Claes Oldenburg,
first edition published by Gemini, CA in 1971, Los Angeles
signed in the plate “CW” with his initials on the back (not hand signed); produced in 3,000 unnumbered copies
This is a multiple printed by photo-offset in gray on stiff, white, die-cut drawing stock. It includes: a mounting board 49.7 x 42.1 cm / 19 x 16-1/2 inches; a highly abstracted version of Mickey Mouse’s head with ears 15.2 cm / 6 inches in diameter, a square face 18.1 cm / 7-1/8 inches on a side, a 24.5 cm / 4-3/4-inch nose, and a few other parts connected with stainless-steel wire, bead chains, and nickel-plated fasteners. It stands in various arrangements and is the smallest of 5 versions of this image. Oldenburg’s own description follows:
“‘The Geometric Mouse’ exists in several scales. The diameter of the ‘ear’ in the largest Geometric Mouse is 9 feet. In this miniature version—the smallest—the ‘ear’ diameter is 6 inches.
“The white, paper Geometric Mouse is called ‘home-made’ because it is a reproduction (2/3 smaller) of the prototype made in preparation for the fabricated, black, metal Geometric Mouse, Scale C—‘ear’ diameter 9 inches.”
This 51-year-old multiple is unopened in the original shrink-wrap, and as flat and smooth as it ever gets. In every copy I have ever seen, the metal bead chain has left at least a few tiny rust spots on the mounting board or one of the other elements. They are very unobtrusive in this one. Otherwise, pristine. Apparent tonal irregularities in the photograph of the packaged piece are from reflections in the plastic coating. The work itself is uniform white apart from the printing and the metal fittings.
Bibliography: Axsom & Platzker 73