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).
Extended through August 29, 2014
June 10–August 29, 2014
Davies Street, London
David Smith and Alexander Calder
Large Scale Works
January 22–February 26, 2005
555 West 24th Street, New York
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.
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.
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.
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
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
The Spring 2018 Gagosian Quarterly with a cover by Ed Ruscha is now available for order.
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.
October 17–20, 2019, booth B33
Grand Palais, Paris
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.
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 Basel 2019
June 13–16, 2019, booth C9
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel, presenting works by Georg Baselitz, Joe Bradley, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Urs Fischer, Ellen Gallagher, Alberto Giacometti, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Jeff Koons, Man Ray, Albert Oehlen, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Mary Weatherford, Tom Wesselmann, and Franz West, among others.
Jeff Koons, Sacred Heart (Magenta/Gold), 1994–2007 © Jeff Koons
Seattle Art Fair 2018
August 2–5, 2018, booth A09
CenturyLink Field Event Center, Seattle
Gagosian is pleased to present Out of This World: Artists Explore Space, a booth curated by Larry Gagosian for the 2018 Seattle Art Fair. The presentation gathers works that reveal artistic and scientific explorations of the cosmos. Featured artists include Richard Avedon, Andisheh Avini, Chris Burden, Alexander Calder, Vija Celmins, Ellen Gallagher, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Neil Jenney, Mike Kelley, Yves Klein, Vera Lutter, Brice Marden, Marc Newson, Nam June Paik, Thomas Ruff, Ed Ruscha, Tom Sachs, Taryn Simon, Yves Tanguy, and Andy Warhol, among others.
Ed Ruscha, Even Though He’s Light Years Away, His Heart Belongs to Me, 1963 © Ed Ruscha
Heaven and Earth
Alexander Calder and Jeff Koons
October 21, 2017–March 24, 2019
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
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
100 Years of Kinetic Art
September 22, 2018–January 20, 2019
Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands
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
Hot Sun, Late Sun. Untamed Modernism
April 21–October 28, 2018
Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles, France
This thematic exhibition explores light, understood as a metaphor illuminating the relationships between artists and the Mediterranean region, home to experimentation, modernism, and postmodernism. Work by Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso will be included.
Alexander Calder, Composition (Pyramids and Sun on Target), 1973 © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
MoMA at NGV
130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art
June 9–October 8, 2018
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
MoMA at NGV will provide a unique survey of the museum’s iconic collection. Two hundred key works will be arranged chronologically into eight thematic sections. The exhibition will trace the development of art and design from late-nineteenth-century urban and industrial transformation through to the digital and global present. Work by Alexander Calder, Andreas Gursky, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol will be included.
Pablo Picasso, Seated Bather, 1930, Museum of Modern Art, New York © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York