Pace Gallery in London presents Calder After the War, an exhibition that brings together nearly fifty pieces created by American sculptor Alexander Calder between 1945 and 1949.
This exhibition follows Calder 1941, presented in New York in 2011. The series seeks to showcase fundamental moments in the artist’s career. Pace Gallery, which represents the Calder Foundation since 1984, has presented a dozen exhibitions of Calder’s work in the last decades.
Pace London Gallery.
Alexander Calder (1898-1976) has been recognized as one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century. He is credited with the invention of the modern mobile sculpture, kinetic constructions of suspended abstract elements that describe movement and play with a sense of balance and harmony. His large-scale outdoor sculptures can be admired in public spaces in cities all over the world. Apparently, visits to Mondrian’s studio in 1930, and an encounter with the kinetic art of Marcel Duchamp, were influential in the development and definition of his own style.
Calder used materials such as steel, bronze, aluminum, wire and wood throughout his career. Critics tend to use the term “lyrical” when referring to his abstract structures.
One of his most emblematic works titled Clouds of Calder (1953) is suspended from the ceiling and sidewalls of the Aula Magna of the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. The installation consists of 22 wood panels that provide acoustic support for the auditorium. For this reason the Aula Magna is considered one of the five rooms with the best acoustics in the world.
ALEXANDER CALDER. Blue Feather, c.
The period between 1945 and 1949 is perhaps the most important in Calder´s artistic production, hence the relevance of this exhibition. According to the gallery “the works of this period are distinguished not only by the grace and balance of their systems, but by the intricacy, unpredictability, and interacting forces that brought the work to radical new levels, as Calder merged stabile and mobile constructions and introduced sophisticated weights and cantilevers.”
ALEXANDER CALDER. Triple Gong, c.
After the War brings together some 25 mobile works and more than twenty stabile that have seldom been exhibited. Masterpieces such as Baby Flat Top (1946), Little Parasite (1947) and Blue Feather (c.1948) are included in the show, as well as distinctive works like Scarlet Digitals (1945), Red, White and Blue on Black (1948) and Louisa´s 43 Birthday Present (1948), a collection of five miniature standing mobiles, and the felt-lined cigar box the artist made to store them. The exhibition is accompanied by a major catalog with an introduction by Sir Norman Foster and a new essay from art historian Barbara Rose, in addition to photographs of pieces not included in the display and bibliographical information.
Pace London Gallery.
The exhibition will be open to the public at Pace London (6 Burlington Gardens) through June 7, 2013. ■
Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, NY