Pace Menlo Park’s inaugural exhibition features monumental stabiles, bronzes, standing and hanging mobiles to colorful gouaches and wearable jewelry.
Alexander Calder (b. 1898, Pennsylvania, d. 1976, New York) is one of the most acclaimed and influential sculptors of the twentieth century. He is renowned for the invention of the mobile, a kinetic construction of suspended abstract elements that describe individual movements, moving and balancing in changing harmony. Calder also devoted himself to making outdoor sculpture on a grand scale from bolted sheets of steel, many of which stand in public plazas in cities throughout the world. Pace Gallery has represented the Calder Foundation since 1984.
Menlo Park—Following its recent announcement of plans to open a temporary space in Northern California, Pace is honored to present Alexander Calder: The Art of Invention, Pace Menlo Park’s inaugural exhibition, from April 17 to May 10, 2014. From monumental stabiles, bronzes, standing and hanging mobiles to colorful gouaches and wearable jewelry, this exhibition explores Calder’s visionary approach to art-making and his innate ability to see potential in a variety of unlikely art materials. The Art of Invention marks five years since Calder was last exhibited in the Bay area, at the San Jose Museum of Art.
Renowned for his invention of the mobile, a kinetic construction of suspended abstract elements that describe individual movements in changing harmony, Calder also devoted himself to making outdoor sculpture on a grand scale from bolted steel plate, which stand in public plazas in cities throughout the world. Calder’s wide body of work includes paintings, drawings, prints, book illustrations, jewelry, tapestries, and costumes and mobile decor for ballets and theatrical productions.
The Art of Invention presents over twenty-five works from six decades. Using wire, wood, glass, sheet metal, bronze and found objects, Calder introduced biomorphic forms and Surrealist imagery into abstract sculpture. In Bird (c. 1955), a small 15-inch object, Calder twisted wire and cut tin cans to create the impression of feathers, tail and beak.
Masterworks including the standing mobile, Aspen (1948), exhibited in the Whitney Museum’s 1976 show 200 Years of American Sculpture and the bright red, 12-foot long Brontosaurus (1970) made from cut and painted sheet metal, exhibited last year at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, will be on view.
Also on view are maquettes used to develop Calder’s large-scale works, including Cafritz Fountain [maquette] (1966), a sheet metal and paint study for the iconic Gwenfritz (1968) currently at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of America History.
The exhibition will also include jewelry, such as a brooch, bracelet and necklace Calder made from colored glass and brass, steel and silver wire, as well as a selection of gouaches, showing the interplay of line, shape and iconic color in Calder’s work.
The Art of Invention continues Pace’s four-decade relationship with the Calder Estate, during which the gallery has presented a dozen exhibitions of the artist’s work.
Alexander Calder (1898–1976) is one of the most acclaimed and influential sculptors of the 20th century. Born in 1898 in Pennsylvania to a family of sculptors, Calder began crafting toys and objects from the materials and tools available to him at an early age. In 1919, he graduated with an engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology and moved to New York to enroll at the Art Students League. In 1926 he travelled to Paris, where he would periodically live and work until 1933, and where he created his fabled Cirque Calder (1926–31). After visiting Piet Mondrian’s studio in 1930, Calder began experimenting with abstract constructions, exhibiting his first non-objective works in 1931.
Alexander Calder has been the subject of dozens of exhibitions at museums worldwide, including retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art (1943), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1964), Whitney Museum of American Art (1976), and National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1998), as well as major exhibitions at museums including Museo Guggenheim Bilbao; The Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’Art Moderne, Paris; the Detroit Institute of Arts; Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland; Kunsthalle Basel; The Menil Collection, Houston; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. In 2011 his monumental standing mobile Horizontal (1974) was permanently installed in front of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Calder’s work is in the collection of nearly every major public art institution in the United States and abroad.
PACE MENLO PARK
Pace is pleased to open a temporary exhibition space in Menlo Park, California from April 17 through June 30, 2014, located in the former Tesla headquarters at 300 El Camino Real in the heart of Silicon Valley. Pace Menlo Park will install a wide variety of work by contemporary masters. A screening room featuring artists' films and a 1,000 volume art library will also be available for use by visitors to the gallery.