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In 1993, before the National Lottery, and in the wake of huge social and industrial change, the commissioning of Claes Oldenberg and Coosje van Bruggen to produce the ‘Bottle of Notes’ marked a confident and ambitious new direction for visual arts commissions in the North of England.
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s monumental sculpture Bottle of Notes, which soars nearly thirty-five feet above the city of Middlesbrough, tilted at an angle almost as startling as the Tower of Pisa, is the first public sculpture in the United Kingdom by these two internationally renowned artists.
Bottle of Notes was commissioned by Middlesbrough Borough Council, and the ingredient of the site which most captured Oldenburg’s imagination was the history of Captain Cook, born in Middlesbrough. The city again provided the inspiration for the medium, the tempered-steel used in the sculpture echoing Middlesbrough’s industrial heritage and continuing the legacy of the town’s Ironmasters.


Centre Square Middlesbrough



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