Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Paris Years

One good thing to come out of my recent short lived romance with an artist was a trip to The Whitney Museum of American Art to see Alexander Calder: The Paris Years 1926-1933. I think most people are familiar with Calder through his mobiles but this exhibition brings a whole other side of Calder to light through his wonderfully creative wire caricature portraits, wire menagerie of animals, and his famous Circus. Around every corner is a new visual treat. I think this was of my favorite shows of all time and I hope everyone will try to see it before it closes on February 15th.

Alexander Calder, 'Dog', 1926-31. Wood, clothespin, and wire, Dog, 1926-31. Wood, clothespin, and wire.

Alexander Calder, Jimmy Durante, 1928. Iron wire and sculpture.

Alexander Calder, Goldfish Bowl, 1929. Wire.

Alexander Calder, Helen Wills, 1927. Wire and wood.

Alexander Calder, Untitled, 1932. Pen with ink on paper.

Alexander Calder, Equestrian Act from Calder’s Circus, 1926-31. Wire, wire, cloth, metal, wood, cardboard, rhinestones, thread, paint, rubber, cork, string.

Alexander Calder, Five suitcases in which Calder transported his Circus, 1926-31.

16 comments:

Coffee with Cathy said...

Thanks so much for sharing the Calder show with us. Amazing! And I loved the insight into the inaugural designers you posted on Tuesday -- it was so much fun to learn more about this couple everybody's talking about now.

tartanscot said...

O.M.G. those are brilliant!

thanks so much for sharing them.

tartanscot

vicki archer said...

The Calder images are wonderful, glad you got to see and enjoy the show. xv

CashmereLibrarian said...

There used to be a Calder mobile at the old Pittsburgh airport! They must have moved it to the new one, but I don't think I've seen it recently.

Susan's Snippets said...

HC -

I Love, Love, LOVE Calder....but I especially love his simplistic whimsical designs. They make me smile!

a long while

Something Old~Something New said...

LOVE the suitcases!

Emily Amy Gallery said...

I love Calder's mobile's too, but I agree that the wire portraits and the simplistic sculptures are so lively. I read the article on that exhibition in the NY Times...wish I could get up there to see it!

Anonymous said...

forget that junk, he took you to the wrong show. go see the calder jewelery exhibit, that's when calder shines.

porter hovey said...

Heather, I totally agree with you. This show was just so much fun seeing -- a side of Calder that you don't usually associate with him. Really great.

Jeffrey Primeaux said...

Another good reason to make a trip up to New York... I seem to recall that I found a pretty amusing video of Mr. Calder performing with his circus over on youtube.

hmstrjam said...

i love calder! great post!

Habitually Chic said...

Coffee with Cathy - You are welcome! There was so much more to see in person too!

Tartanscot - It was a great show. The caricatures where especially brilliant!

Vicki - I really loved it. Too bad more of the images aren't available online.

Cashmere Librarian - My father wanted me to tell you that the Calder mobile was moved to the new airport but it is out on loan right now. He can't remember exactly where, maybe Paris, but it will return later.

Susan - it's a good show for children. They whole thing is fun!

Something Old/New - me too! Now you're lucky if you even get your suitcase back after a trip! I especially love all the old stickers!

Emily Amy - maybe you should invest in the book. I was amazed at the amount of detail he was able to achieve out of a simple wire! It was amazing!

Anonymous - I certainly wouldn't catagorize anything in the Whitney show as junk but I didn't know about the jewelry exhibit so I look forward to seeing that as well. Thanks for the suggestion.

Porter - I don't know how they ignored Calder's other work in my art history classes. I'm so glad I went and learned more about him!

Jeffrey - I think there is one on YouTube and there is also a video on the Whitney website but I haven't had a chance to view it yet.

Hmstrjam - So glad you enjoyed it!

joyandjanet said...

Just found your blog - lovely!

We espically fell in love with the Alexander Caader suitcases...

*le sigh*

Joy and Janet

TBD said...

I've been reading and enjoying your blog for a few months now and finally felt compelled to write. I live in Texas but was lucky enough to see the Calder exhibit (along with a few others) over the holidays. I completely agree with you! It does bring a whole other side of Calder to light. I so regret not buying the exhibition book/catalog. I was not very familiar with his work, beyond the mobiles, and just loved the whimsy. All of the children voiced out loud what I was thinking. Would have been nice to be eight years old again, walking throught that exhibit.

henzy said...

these wire sculptures are great..
thanks for introducing me to Alexander Calder

lisa golightly said...

In my hunt for Calder circus images for my current post, I found your post ! Ironically, it was a past relationship for me as well that brought me to NY and the Whitney to visit this exhibit. I was a child all over again !! Excellent post !

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