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Sculptor, painter among National Medal of Arts winners

Claes
Presidential Medal of Arts winner Claes Oldenburg with his collaborative partner of more than 25 years, Coosje van Bruggen  
 National Medal of Arts recipients, 2000
Maya Angelou, poet and writer
Eddy Arnold, country singer
Mikhail Baryshnikov, dancer and director
Benny Carter, jazz musician
Chuck Close, painter
Horton Foote, playwright and screenwriter
Lewis Manilow, arts patron
National Public Radio, cultural programming division
Claes Oldenburg, sculptor
Itzhak Perlman, violinist
Harold Prince, theater director and producer
Barbra Streisand, entertainer and filmmaker

(CNN) -- Sculptor Claes Oldenburg and painter Chuck Close are among 12 recipients of the National Medal of Arts honoring contributions to American arts and culture.

Other recipients include Barbra Streisand, poet and writer Maya Angelou, country singer Eddy Arnold, dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and violinist Itzhak Perlman.

President Bill Clinton selected the award winners from a group of nominees chosen by the National Council on the Arts, an advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts.

"We honored these medallists for the tremendous contributions they have made to the vibrant and varied cultural life of our nation," NEA Chairman Bill Ivey said.

Close, 60, is best-known for his large portraits of faces. He gained attention in the 1960s as part of the photorealist movement, in which painters based their work on photographs. He uses a variety of media and techniques, including pastel, watercolor, oil, collage and printmaking.

Born in Monroe, Washington, he received degrees from the University of Washington and Yale University and studied in Vienna on a Fulbright Fellowship. His work has been the subject of more than 100 solo exhibitions.

Oldenburg, 71, is considered a pioneer of the Pop Art movement for his giant sculptures of such ordinary objects as spoons and flashlights. He's also recognized for his whimsical drawings.

His work is on display in museum collections worldwide, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Tate Gallery in London and the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris.

Oldenburg, who was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and studied at Yale University and the Art Institute of Chicago, has worked on many projects with his wife, the writer and artist Coosje van Bruggen.



RELATED STORIES:
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December 19, 2000
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August 30, 2000
Rauschenberg's collaborative artwork unveiled at Whitney
June 27, 2000
'Queen of Soul' gets NEA recognition
September 22, 1999

RELATED SITES:
National Endowment for the Arts
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen
Chuck Close on the Internet

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