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Alexander Calder

February 26–April 10, 2010
West 21st Street, New York

Alexander Calder Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Alexander Calder

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

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Works Exhibited

Alexander Calder, Five Points / Triangles, 1957 Painted steel, 85 × 50 × 90 inches (215.9 × 127 × 228.6 cm)© Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Mike Bruce

Alexander Calder, Five Points / Triangles, 1957

Painted steel, 85 × 50 × 90 inches (215.9 × 127 × 228.6 cm)
© Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Mike Bruce

Alexander Calder, Rouge Triomphant (Triumphant Red), 1959–63 Sheet metal, rod, and paint, 110 × 230 × 180 inches (279.4 × 584.2 × 457.2cm)

Alexander Calder, Rouge Triomphant (Triumphant Red), 1959–63

Sheet metal, rod, and paint, 110 × 230 × 180 inches (279.4 × 584.2 × 457.2cm)

Alexander Calder, Spunk of the Monk, 1964 Painted steel, 132 × 295 × 166 inches (335.3 × 749.3 × 421.6cm)

Alexander Calder, Spunk of the Monk, 1964

Painted steel, 132 × 295 × 166 inches (335.3 × 749.3 × 421.6cm)

About

People think monuments should come out of the ground, never out of the ceiling, but mobiles can be monumental too.
—Alexander Calder

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of large-scale sculptures made by Alexander Calder made between 1957 and 1970.

Born into a family of celebrated yet traditional artists, Calder's innovative genius changed the course of modern art. He began by developing a new method of sculpting — bending and twisting wire to "draw" three-dimensional figures in space. Resonating with early Conceptual and Constructivist art as well with as the language of early abstract painting, Calder gained renown for his invention of the mobile (a term coined by Marcel Duchamp to describe Calder's new kinetic sculptures) in which boldly colored abstract shapes made of industrial materials, including steel and wood, hang in perfect balance from delicate wires. Although his first mobiles made use of modern technology and were driven by electrical or mechanical means, he soon preferred their movements to be guided by the unpredictable influences of wind and water. While the kinetic energy, dynamism, and ebullience of the mobiles remained of primary interest to Calder throughout his life, he also created a number of important static sculptures, which Jean Arp named "stabiles" to distinguish them from their kinetic counterparts. These constructions utilized various techniques of welding and bolting to create a type of metalwork that rejected the weight and solidity of a bronze mass, yet allowed an object to displace space in a three-dimensional manner while remaining linear, open, planar, and suggestive of implicit motion.

By the 1950s, Calder's international recognition had increased significantly, allowing him to expand his studios in the United States and France; as a result, he was able to create his mobiles and stabiles on a monumental scale. In Rouge Triomphant/Triumphant Red (1959-1963), a mobile that spans almost six meters, he introduced primary red to provide vivid contrast to his almost exclusive use of black. In this rhythmic work, three groups of black "scales" are offset by an occasional red one to create a dynamic yet delicately balanced assemblage.

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