Tate Modern presents the UK’s largest ever exhibition exploring the work of Alexander Calder who is considered to be one of the most original artists of the 20th century and pioneered kinetic sculpture. Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture brings together approximately 100 works to reveal how Calder helped transform sculpture from a static to a dynamic form.
The exhibition begins by considering Calder’s time in Paris between the first and second world wars, Paris at this time was the first port of call for many budding artists and sculptors. Calder showed his great originality by producing figurative wire portraits of other artists including Joan Miró 1930 and Fernand Léger c.1930, alongside other characters related to the circus, the cabaret and popular entertainment, other highlights include Two Acrobats 1929, The Brass Family 1929 and Aztec Josephine Baker c.1929.
The exhibition includes a selection of his most significant motorised mobiles, Black Frame 1934 and A Universe 1934 which reveals the way that Calder employed some of his skill as an engineer to create movement. Calder also developed suspended sculptures that would move without motors.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Calder went back to his interests in theatre, dance and performance to incorporate elements of choreography and sound to his sculptures, mobiles in this category include Red Gongs 1950, Streetcar 1951 and Triple Gong 1951. The exhibition closes with Calder’s large scale mobile Black Widow c.1948, shown for the first time ever outside Brazil which was very influential for the development of particular artist movements in South America.
This intriguing and enjoyable exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see a wide range of Calder’s work and to consider his influence on the development of modern sculpture. His concept of developing ways to allow abstract art to move, radically changed conceptions of how sculpture can be used to be more dynamic.
Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended
If you would like to find out more or buy tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here
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