Alexander Calder (b. 1898, Lawnton, 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.
Calder’s work has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at major museums around the world, including Performing Sculpture, Tate Modern, London (2016); Motion Lab, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2016); Calder Monumental, Denver Botanic Gardens (2017); Hypermobility, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017); Scaling Up, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2017); Radical Inventor, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2018); and Calder-Picasso at the Musée Picasso, Paris (2019).
The Seagram Building
375 Park Avenue, New York, NY
October 5 – November 10, 2014
New York—Pace Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibit of Alexander Calder’s work at the Seagram Building, 375 Park Avenue, realized in collaboration with the Calder Foundation. Pace will install three of the artist’s monumental sculptures on the plaza of the iconic International Style building in Midtown. The work will be on view from October 5 through November 10, 2014.
The presentation coincides with Storm King Art Center’s annual gala on October 8, which is honoring the Calder Foundation and Alexander S.C. Rower, the president of the foundation since it was established in 1987 and the artist’s grandson. Storm King Art Center and the Calder Foundation have a longstanding relationship, with the former presenting the artist’s monumental work in its sculpture park for more than 25 years. The presentation at the Seagram Building is made possible by Aby Rosen, RFR Holding LLC.
Calder experimented with and practiced in a variety of media but remains best known for his large-scale mobiles and stabiles, whose public display was of great importance to the artist. “My mobiles and stabiles must be put in open spaces, like city squares, or in front of modern buildings. And the same goes for all contemporary sculpture,” Calder said. “A sculpture in the city must be useful as signaling poles placed in sea lanes and waterways with their red discs, yellow squares and black triangles. It must be designed as a real urban signal as well as sculpture.” Calder’s work finds a kindred context at the Seagram Building, which was designed by Mies van der Rohe. Completed in 1958, the building is a hallmark of modernist architecture and its open plaza was an anomaly for its time with its attention to creating an open urban space.
The works on view exemplify the artist’s artistic concerns and motifs: notably his striking use of color and dynamic forms. A standing mobile, 3 Flèches Blanches (1965) demonstrates Calder’s enduring interest in movement and balance through abstract black-and-white forms. This is its first time on view to the public in New York. Newly conserved, Angulaire (1974) is a stabile of jagged metal plates that achieves elegance through its balance and articulation of positive and negative space. It was recently on view in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s exhibition Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic (2013-14). At more than eighteen-feet tall, the monumental Saurien (1975), completed the year before the artist’s death, illustrates Calder’s bold use of color with its red undulating limbs and alpine-like ridge.
The exhibit continues Pace’s tradition of presenting Calder’s work in a public setting and marks the first outdoor exhibit of Calder’s work at the Seagram Building since 2007 when his monumental mobile Ordinary (1969) was on view for one year. In 1995 and 2004, Pace exhibited Calder’s work at 590 Madison Avenue in New York. In the United Kingdom, Pace presented a group of Calder’s sculptures at Sudeley Castle and Gardens, Gloucestershire, in 2013 and in London for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Alexander Calder (1898–1976) is one of the most acclaimed and influential sculptors of the twentieth century. 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, many of which stand in public plazas in cities throughout the world. Calder’s wide body of work includes paintings, drawings, prints, book illustrations, jewelry, tapestries, as well as costumes and set designs for ballets and theatrical productions. In addition to being included in the collection of nearly every major public institution in the United States and abroad, Pace has represented Calder since 1984 and since presented twelve exhibitions of his work.
The Calder Foundation, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1987 by Alexander S.C. Rower, Calder’s grandson, and is dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting the art and archives of Alexander Calder. The Foundation’s projects include collaborating on exhibitions and publications, organizing and maintaining the Calder archives, examining works attributed to Calder and cataloguing the artist’s works. One of the first organizations of its kind, the Calder Foundation, under Rower’s leadership, has provided the blueprint for the many artist foundations that have since emerged.
Beginning on October 5, three monumental sculptures by Alexander Calder will be on view at the Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue, New York, as part of a collaboration between Pace and the Calder Foundation. The presentation coincides with Storm King Art Center’s annual gala on October 8, which is honoring the foundation and its president, Alexander S.C. Rower, the artist’s grandson. Made possible by Aby Rosen, RFR Holding LLC, the installation will include 3 Flèches Blanches (1965), Angu