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Alexander Calder

May 3–June 21, 2003
Beverly Hills

Alexander Calder Installation viewPhoto © Douglas M. Parker Studio

Alexander Calder

Installation view
Photo © Douglas M. Parker Studio

Alexander Calder Installation viewPhoto © Douglas M. Parker Studio

Alexander Calder

Installation view
Photo © Douglas M. Parker Studio

Alexander Calder Installation viewPhoto © Douglas M. Parker Studio

Alexander Calder

Installation view
Photo © Douglas M. Parker Studio

Alexander Calder Installation viewPhoto © Douglas M. Parker Studio

Alexander Calder

Installation view
Photo © Douglas M. Parker Studio

Works Exhibited

Alexander Calder, Untitled, 1949 Painted sheet metal, wire and rod, 42 × 90 × 30 inches (106.7 × 228.6 × 76.3 cm)

Alexander Calder, Untitled, 1949

Painted sheet metal, wire and rod, 42 × 90 × 30 inches (106.7 × 228.6 × 76.3 cm)

Alexander Calder, Fish, 1952 Hanging mobile of painted steel rod, wire, string, colored glass and metal objects, 15 ½ × 45 ½ inches (39.4 × 115.6 cm)

Alexander Calder, Fish, 1952

Hanging mobile of painted steel rod, wire, string, colored glass and metal objects, 15 ½ × 45 ½ inches (39.4 × 115.6 cm)

Alexander Calder, Ritou I, 1946 Painted sheet metal and wire, height: 32 inches (81.3 cm), span: 31 inches (78.7 cm)© Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: © Douglas M. Parker Studio

Alexander Calder, Ritou I, 1946

Painted sheet metal and wire, height: 32 inches (81.3 cm), span: 31 inches (78.7 cm)
© Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: © Douglas M. Parker Studio

Alexander Calder, Yellow Disk, 1953 Standing mobile: painted steel with mobile and stable elements, Mobile height: 114 inches (290 cm); Mobile span: 112 inches (285 cm); Base: 46 × 38 inches (117 × 96.5 cm)"

Alexander Calder, Yellow Disk, 1953

Standing mobile: painted steel with mobile and stable elements, Mobile height: 114 inches (290 cm); Mobile span: 112 inches (285 cm); Base: 46 × 38 inches (117 × 96.5 cm)"

About

"A mobile is an abstract sculpture made chiefly out of sheet metal, steel rods, wire, and wood. Some or all of these elements move, propelled by electric motors, wind, water or by hand…When everything goes right a mobile is a piece of poetry that dances with the joy of life and surprise."
-Alexander Calder

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present a seminal range of hanging and standing mobile sculptures by Alexander Calder. The exhibition will span the second chapter of the artist's career and his fascination with sculpture in motion.

The works on view will include important examples of standing and hanging mobiles, inspired by man and nature alike, sight and sound, reality and fantasy. Flocons de neige (1970) representing a quiet snow flurry, or Blue Crescent and Gong (1953) making reference to primitive man-made musical instruments; or perhaps there is no meaning at all as Jean-Paul Sartre suggested, "They have too many possibilities and are too complex for the human mind, even their creator's, to predict their combinations. Calder established a general destiny of motion for each mobile, then he leaves it on its own." ("Existentialist on Mobilist", ARTnews, Dec 1947)

In addition to the standing and hanging mobiles, a Crag piece, Crag with red heart (1974) and Calder's Fish (1952), will also be on view. The exhibition presents a variety of Calder's mobile formulas, each piece composed of an eclectic range of materials such as sheet metal, rods, wire and wood, pieces of glass and porcelain, string and other found objects.

Whether seen up close or at a distance, Alexander Calder's art seems to possess both a touch of magic and witchcraft, never precisely still, never exactly the same.