Calder

페이스갤러리 서울

Oct. 5, 2021 ~ Nov. 20, 2021

Seoul – Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of works created by Alexander Calder between the 1950s and 1970s at its Seoul gallery. Best known for his mobiles, which transformed the modern conception of sculpture, Calder is widely regarded as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Featuring eight sculptures, ten works on paper, and one painting, this show marks the gallery’s first presentation dedicated to Calder’s work since the opening of its New York space at 540 West 25th Street in 2019. The exhibition will run from October 5 to November 20, 2021.

The presentation in Seoul features a selection of sculptures created by Calder over the course of three decades. It includes quintessential hanging mobiles such as Untitled (1969) and Untitled (1963) as well as the stabiles Les Arêtes de poisson (maquette, 1965) and Gwenfritz (1:5 intermediate maquette, 1968), one of the models for Calder’s 35-foot-tall sculpture outside the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Also included in the exhibition is the magnificent standing mobile Franji Pani (1955), made during Calder’s two-month trip to India, where he realized a series of sculptures at the behest of architect and collector Gira Sarabhai in exchange for a tour around the country.

The exhibition centers on ten vibrant works on paper, which represent a lesser known but significant aspect of the artist’s practice. The ink and gouache paintings in this presentation date to the 1960s and 1970s, ranging from works punctuated by dynamic black lines that bleed into variously colored backgrounds to those with starkly rendered spirals and geometric forms that visually echo his sculptural practice. The collector and art historian Jean Lipman wrote that this medium, which Calder focused on in his later years, suited the artist’s “high-spirited, rapid, and spontaneous expression.”

Another highlight of the exhibition is Calder’s oil painting The Black Moon (1964), which sets a crescent and a series of circles against a dreamy background of soft gray and yellow tones. The composition also features a large white spherical shape, whose blue outlines suggest a third dimension beyond the canvas. Notably, Calder’s first truly abstract works of art were part of a series of small oils made in the wake of a transformative visit to Piet Mondrian’s studio in October 1930. Calder was deeply impressed by the spatial dynamics of the studio, later writing that the visit “gave me a shock that started things.”

Alexander Calder (1898–1976) utilized his innovative genius to profoundly change the course of modern art. Born into a family of celebrated though more classically trained artists, he began his career by developing a new method of sculpting: by bending and twisting of wire, he essentially “drew” three-dimensional figures in space. He is renowned for the invention of the mobile, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony.

Coined by Marcel Duchamp in 1931, the word mobile refers to “motion” and “motive” in French. Some of the artist’s earliest mobiles moved by a system of motors, although these mechanics were eventually abandoned as Calder developed works that responded to air currents, light, humidity, and human interaction. He also created stationary abstract works that Jean Arp dubbed stabiles.

From the 1950s onward, Calder turned his attention to international commissions and increasingly devoted himself to making outdoor sculpture on a grand scale. Some of these major commissions include .125, for the New York Port Authority in John F. Kennedy Airport (1957); Spirale, for UNESCO in Paris (1958); Teodelapio, for the city of Spoleto, Italy (1962); Trois disques, for the Expo in Montreal (1967); El Sol Rojo, for the Olympics in Mexico City (1968); La Grande vitesse, the first public artwork to be funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), for the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan (1969); and Flamingo, for the General Services Administration in Chicago (1973). 

Calder is the subject of ongoing solo exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. In October, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will open the exhibition Calder-Picasso, and the presentation Calder Now, which situates Calder in dialogue with contemporary artists, will open at the Kunsthal Rotterdam in November.

Calder’s work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Art Institute of Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; and other major art institutions around the world. Long-term installations of Calder’s monumental sculptures can be found at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Kunstmuseum Basel; Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art; National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan; Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas; and elsewhere.

New York were given by the artist to the Tate in 1969, arriving in London in 1970. This new display marks 50 years since the iconic paintings came to London, fulfilling Rothko’s wish to have his work hung beside the British painter he deeply admired.

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* 아트바바에 등록된 모든 이미지와 글의 저작권은 각 작가와 필자에게 있습니다.

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