Alexander Calder, Blue Feather, ca. 1948 © 2021 Calder Foundation, New York_LR

Kunsthal Rotterdam proudly presents Calder Now

Calder Now presents twenty sculptures by Alexander Calder, alongside works by ten prominent contemporary artists. Expect Olafur Eliasson, Ernesto Neto, Aki Sasamoto, Monika Sosnowska, Sarah Sze, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Alexander Calder (United States, 1898-1976) innovated a lot. He added a large number of pioneering artistic innovations the fourth dimension of time as a prominent and indispensable element in his work. The artist succeeded in changing sculpting. He was the first to take sculptures off their pedestals and make them appear to float in the air. With these innovative mobiles that move freely in space, he – together with artists such as Marcel Duchamp and László Moholy-Nagy – stood at the cradle of the kinetic art movement that revolutionized the early 20th century. He became a source of inspiration for many generations of artists after him.

Highlights of Calder

The main focus of the exhibition is a selection of works spanning his entire career. From early motorised works such as ‘Dancers and Sphere’ (1938) to later hanging mobiles, standing mobiles and monumental sculptures. The work of the contemporary artists echoes important themes from Calder’s oeuvre: light and reflection, austere materials, the senses, sound, activation, architecture, transience, gravity, performance and positive and negative space. The ten international artists in ‘Calder Now’ show works that could not have existed without the various innovative aspects of Calder’s visionary oeuvre.

Enigmatic, gravity-defying installations, sculptures that induce extraordinary optical experiences, and art that appeals to all the senses reveal new connections with Calder and bring into focus the countless extensions of his legacy. This must-see Kunsthal production will lead the visitor through a multisensory experience. The exhibition is realised in close collaboration with guest curators Dieter Buchhart and Anna Karina Hofbauer, and the Calder Foundation.

Alexander Calder, Birthday Cake, 1956 © 2021 Calder Foundation, New York_LR
Alexander Calder, Birthday Cake, 1956 © 2021 Calder Foundation, New York

In the exhibition, his works – a career-spanning selection – alternate with the installations and sculptures of contemporary artists. It’s a fascinating interplay of visual and thematic connections. The public can discover links between the art of today and that of the modern master. The works by artists from our own era resonate with important themes in his oeuvre: light and reflection, humble materials, the senses, sound, activation, architecture, ephemera, gravity, performance, and positive and negative space. The ten international artists in ‘Calder Now’ are showing works that wouldn’t exist without the precedence of these themes in his visionary body of art.

Especially made

Some works are shown to the public for the very first time at the Kunsthal. In the spring of 2021, Aki Sasamoto (Japan, 1980) spent four months as an artist in residence at the Atelier Calder in Saché, France. There she created ‘Squirrel Ways’, a piece on the cutting edge of installation and performance. On several occasions during the exhibition, Sasamoto will deliver her performance in the architectural installation.

The sculptures of Žilvinas Kempinas (winner of the Calder Prize 2007) are situated between installation and kinetic art. He presents a new work during the exhibition.

Žilvinas Kempinas, Flaming Tape, 2021
Žilvinas Kempinas, Flaming Tape, 2021

Calder Now in Kunsthal
21 November 2021 up to and including 29 May 2022

Cover: Alexander Calder, Blue Feather, ca. 1948 © 2021 Calder Foundation, New York

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