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Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder, Occident, 1975 Gouache and ink on paper, 29 × 43 inches (73.6 × 109.2 cm)© 2014 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Alexander Calder, Occident, 1975

Gouache and ink on paper, 29 × 43 inches (73.6 × 109.2 cm)
© 2014 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Alexander Calder, Untitled (maquette), 1972 Sheet metal and paint, 34 ¼ × 29 15/16 × 26 inches (87 × 76 × 66 cm)© 2013 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Right Society (ARS), New York

Alexander Calder, Untitled (maquette), 1972

Sheet metal and paint, 34 ¼ × 29 15/16 × 26 inches (87 × 76 × 66 cm)
© 2013 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Right Society (ARS), New York

Alexander Calder, Ritou I, 1946 Hanging mobile: painted sheet metal, wire and rod, Height: 32 inches (81.3 cm); Span: 31 inches (78.7 cm)© 2013 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Right Society (ARS), New York

Alexander Calder, Ritou I, 1946

Hanging mobile: painted sheet metal, wire and rod, Height: 32 inches (81.3 cm); Span: 31 inches (78.7 cm)
© 2013 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Right Society (ARS), New York

About

Alexander Calder's invention of the mobile (a term that Marcel Duchamp coined to describe these new kinetic sculptures) resonated with early Conceptual and Constructivist art as well as the language of early abstract painting. Flat, abstract shapes made in steel, boldly painted in a restricted primary palette, black or white, hang in perfect balance from wires. While the latent energy and dynamism of the mobiles remained of primary interest to Calder throughout his life, he also created important standing sculptures, which Jean Arp named “stabiles” to distinguish them from their ethereal kinetic counterparts. These works reject the weight and solidity of sculptural mass, yet displace space in a three–dimensional manner while remaining linear, open, planar, and suggestive of motion.

Alexander Calder was born in 1898 in, Lawnton, Pennsylvania, and died in 1976 in New York. He received his B.S. in 1919 from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken. From 1923 to 1925, Calder attended the Art Students League, New York, and in 1926, he attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris. Calder's public commissions are on view in cities all over the world and his work has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions, including the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1998, traveled to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California); The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. (1998–99); Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford (2000); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2000); Iwaki City Art Museum, Japan (2000, traveled to The Museum of Modern Art, Japan; Hokkaido Obihiro Museum of Art, Japan; The Museum of Art, Japan; Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum, Japan; Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan); Storm King Art Center, New York (2001–03); Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2003, traveled to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, through 2004); Foundation Beyeler, Switzerland (2004, traveled to Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., through 2005); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California (2013); Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2014); Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2014); Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2015); and Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Saint Louis (2015).

Alexander Calder poster for McGovern, 1972, lithograph

The Art History of Presidential Campaign Posters

Against the backdrop of the 2020 US presidential election, historian Hal Wert takes us through the artistic and political evolution of American campaign posters, from their origin in 1844 to the present. In an interview with Quarterly editor Gillian Jakab, Wert highlights an array of landmark posters and the artists who made them.

Black-and-white photograph of Alexander Calder and Margaret French dancing on a cobblestone street while Louisa Calder plays the accordion in front of a large window outside of James Thrall Soby’s house, Farmington, Connecticut, 1936

An Alphabetical Guide to Calder and Dance

Jed Perl takes a look at Alexander Calder’s lifelong fascination with dance and its relationship to his reimagining of sculpture.

Featuring Joan Jonas’s Mirror Piece 1 (1969) on its cover.

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2020

The Summer 2020 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Joan Jonas’s Mirror Piece 1 (1969) on its cover.

Charlotte Perriand in her studio on place Saint-Sulpice, Paris, 1928. The hands holding a plate halolike behind her head are Le Corbusier’s.

The New World of Charlotte Perriand

Inspired by a visit to the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s exhibition Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World, William Middleton explores the life of this modernist pioneer and her impact on the worlds of design, art, and architecture.

Calder: Sculpting A Life

Calder: Sculpting A Life

The first authorized biography of Alexander Calder was published this past fall. Biographer Jed Perl and Alexander “Sandy” S. C. Rower, president of the Calder Foundation, discuss the genesis of the book, the nature of genius, and preview what’s to come in the second volume with the Quarterly’s Wyatt Allgeier.

Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2018

Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2018

The Spring 2018 Gagosian Quarterly with a cover by Ed Ruscha is now available for order.

Alexander Calder: Gouaches

Alexander Calder: Gouaches

While Alexander Calder is regarded as the originator of mobile art works, his works on paper exhibit a mastery of two-dimensional abstraction. With a show of his gouaches closing in the Davies Street, London gallery, Derek Blasberg celebrates some of the artist’s pieces that didn’t require a welding helmet.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Alexander Calder, Flying Dragon, 1975, installation view, Place Vendôme, Paris © 2021 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Public Installation

Calder
Flying Dragon, 1975

October 19, 2021–January 2, 2022
Place Vendôme, Paris

Alexander Calder’s monumental sculpture Flying Dragon (1975) will be on view at Place Vendôme in Paris beginning October 19. The installation marks the opening of Gagosian’s new gallery at rue de Castiglione and is part of FIAC Hors les Murs, which presents artworks in emblematic public spaces throughout the city.

Flying Dragon (1975)—which exemplifies Calder’s capacity to invest a powerful visual dynamism in his work regardless of scale—is among the last of the monumental works he made. While static, the striking sculpture transforms when viewed from different angles. Constructed from sheet metal, it is physically weighty but appears delicate due to its limited points of contact with the ground.

Alexander Calder, Flying Dragon, 1975, installation view, Place Vendôme, Paris © 2021 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

The exterior of Gagosian’s new gallery at 9 rue de Castiglione, Paris. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Gagosian Announces New Paris Gallery

Gagosian is pleased to announce the opening of a new location in Paris in October 2021. Situated at 9 rue de Castiglione, in the 1st arrondissement, the space is part of the historic Hotel Lotti development, built in 1910. The location is steps from Place Vendôme, where Leo Castelli and René Drouin opened the storied Drouin Gallery in 1939, and within walking distance of the Musée du Louvre, Musée de l’Orangerie, and Musée d’Orsay.

The exterior of Gagosian’s new gallery at 9 rue de Castiglione, Paris. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Jean Cocteau in front of one of the several murals he painted on the walls of Francine Weisweiller’s Villa Santo Sospir, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France, 1954. Photo: Edward Quinn

Art Fair

FIAC 2019

October 17–20, 2019, booth B33
Grand Palais, Paris
fiac.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in FIAC 2019 with Artists on the French Riviera, a special presentation that explores twentieth-century artistic life on the Côte d’Azur. On display are works by Alexander Calder, Jean Cocteau, Alberto Giacometti, Yves Klein, Fernand Léger, Man Ray, Henri Matisse, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, and Edward Quinn, among others.

To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at fiac.com.

Download the full press release in English (PDF) or French (PDF)

Jean Cocteau in front of one of the several murals he painted on the walls of Francine Weisweiller’s Villa Santo Sospir, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France, 1954. Photo: Edward Quinn

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Museum Exhibitions

Installation view, Alexander Calder: Modern from the Start, Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 14, 2021–January 15, 2022. Artwork © 2021 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Robert Gerhardt © 2021 The Museum of Modern Art

On View

Alexander Calder
Modern from the Start

Through January 15, 2022
Museum of Modern Art, New York
www.moma.org

Alexander Calder reimagined sculpture as an experiment in space and motion, upending centuries-old notions that sculpture should be static, grounded, and dense by making artworks that often move freely and interact with their surroundings. Bringing together early wire and wood figures, works on paper, jewelry, mobiles in motion, and monumental abstract sculptures, the exhibition takes a deep dive into the full breadth of Calder’s career and inventiveness.

Installation view, Alexander Calder: Modern from the Start, Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 14, 2021–January 15, 2022. Artwork © 2021 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Robert Gerhardt © 2021 The Museum of Modern Art

Alexander Calder, Têtes et queue, 1965, installation view, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin © 2021 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Stephanie von Becker

On View

Alexander Calder
Minimal/Maximal

Through February 13, 2022
Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
www.smb.museum

This exhibition traces the unique relationship between size, scale, and spatiality in Alexander Calder’s works, while juxtaposing his organic forms with the strict geometry of Mies van der Rohe’s building in a poetic dialogue. Calder’s outdoor sculpture Têtes et queue (1965), which was originally installed at the museum’s inauguration, now returns to its terrace.

Alexander Calder, Têtes et queue, 1965, installation view, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin © 2021 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Stephanie von Becker

Jeff Koons, Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Dr. JK Silver Series), 1985 © Jeff Koons

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Heaven and Earth
Alexander Calder and Jeff Koons

October 21, 2017–March 24, 2019
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
mcachicago.org

This exhibition brings together a selection of works from two contemporary art icons, allowing viewers to experience their sculptures in playful and unexpected ways.

Jeff Koons, Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Dr. JK Silver Series), 1985 © Jeff Koons

Alexander Calder, Untitled, 1963 © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Action<–>Reaction
100 Years of Kinetic Art

September 22, 2018–January 20, 2019
Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands
www.kunsthal.nl

Action<–>Reaction: 100 Years of Kinetic Art covers a wide range of kinetic art and offers visitors an opportunity to experience work that appeals to all of the senses. The exhibition is a revival of the successful 2013 Paris exhibition Dynamo. Work by Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, and Carsten Höller is included.

Alexander Calder, Untitled, 1963 © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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