Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic
Alexander Calder’s first museum exhibition in Los Angeles, Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic, started November 24, 2013 and runs through July 27, 2014. I went to the last private showing with my girlfriend, jewelry designer, Cynthia Desser, on Saturday evening. After walking through the exhibition, exclaiming many oohs and aahs, we decided the only thing we would change was its size. It needed to be much bigger.
From Avant-Garde to Iconic showcases nearly fifty abstract sculptures, including mobiles, stabiles, and maquettes for larger outdoor works, that span more than four decades of the artist’s career. It was beautifully organized by LACMA’s senior curator of modern art, Stephanie Barron, and brilliantly designed by Frank Gehry — “I always remember the Calder show at the Guggenheim in New York,” Gehry says, “and how the work responded to the curves of the museum. It was spectacular. LACMA didn’t have such a space for the show, so we designed one. I hope to at least give the art its individual space and let the architecture help reveal the dynamism of each piece.” Susan also had a hand in the exquisite lighting of the exhibition, which included deciding which pieces got cast with and with out shadows.
Alexander Calder, deemed one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, revolutionized modern sculpture with some of his most iconic works, coined mobiles by Marcel Duchamp — kinetic sculptures in which flat pieces of painted metal connected by wire move delicately in the air (some balancing miraculously on one point) propelled by motors or air currents. His later stabiles are impressive structures, whose arching forms and massive steel planes continue his fascination with dynamism and daring innovation.
LACMA 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036