NAMES IN THE NEWS : Claes Oldenburg Wins Israeli Prize

<i> From Times wire services </i>

American pop art sculptor Claes Oldenburg has won the $100,000 Wolf Prize in the Arts, the Israel-based Wolf Foundation announced today.

It praised the artist’s works “for all the simplicity of their subject matter . . . (that) invite the observer to reflect on life’s processes.” Oldenburg, 60, explores the ironic and humorous aspects of common objects that he grossly distorts in scale and shape. He is noted for his soft sculptures of stuffed cloth and giant objects of such everyday items as lipsticks, electrical plugs, baseball bats and clothespins.

The Swedish-born sculptor became an American citizen in 1953.