Alexander Calder: Gouaches

Alexander CalderImage courtesy of Calder Foundation

Alexander Calder: Gouaches

“What I produce is not precisely what I have in mind–but a sort of sketch, a man-made approximation. That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential … as long as they have something else in theirs.” – Alexander Calder

Alexander CalderImage courtesy of Calder Foundation

Gagosian London is pleased to present “Alexander Calder: Gouaches“, the second installment of a two-venue exhibition in New York and London.¬†Alexander Calder was born in Pennsylvania in 1898 and attended the Stevens Institute of Technology and Art Students League. He died in New York City in 1976. His work is included in public and private collections worldwide, including Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Calder’s public commissions are on view in cities throughout the world, and his work has been the subject of hundreds of museum exhibitions.

Alexander CalderImage courtesy of Calder Foundation

In the late 1920s, Calder’s new method of sculpting-bending and twisting wire to “draw” three-dimensional figures in space-resonated with both early Conceptual and Constructivist art, as well as the language of early abstract painting. Seeking to capture the constant motion of life, he created kinetic sculptures in which flat, abstract shapes in light sheet metal, painted in a restricted palette of black, white, or bright primary colors, hang in perfect balance from wires. Marcel Duchamp was the first to describe the new works as “mobiles,” while standing “stabiles” employed welding and bolting techniques to reject the weight and solidity of sculptural mass, to produce forms that were both linear and planar, open and suggestive of motion.

Alexander CalderImage courtesy of Calder Foundation

By 1950, Calder had achieved international renown, affording him opportunities to engineer his sculpture on a monumental scale. The spiraling vortices of his early wire sculptures reappear atop pyramids (a recurring motif following a flight over Egypt), or hovering beside red suns (impressions of Guatemala‘s fiery sunrises). Boulders, solar systems, and cacti are points of departure for his exuberant line, which conveys arabesques, orbs, and layers of bold stripes. Delighting in nature and evoking the subconscious, Calder celebrated essential yet enigmatic forms in an array of ochres, yellows, and vermilion, a vivid palette reserved for a lifetime of spontaneous impressions.

more. www.gagosian.com | www.calder.org

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