Calder After the War in an extraordinary retrospective dedicated to Alexander Calder. The exhibition, on at the London venue of Pace Gallery, brings together nearly fifty works realised by the artist from 1945 to 1949 and includes some amazing mobiles, stabiles and standing mobiles, plus a selection of rarely-seen paintings and gouache in the renovated first floor of the gallery.
After visiting Piet Mondrian‘s studio in 1930, Alexander Calder started to work on some abstract two/three dimensional compositions. His ‘mobiles’ – the name was suggested by Marcel Duchamp – not only synthesise European Abstraction, Surrealism and Dada with an American spirit of discovery and invention but also redefine the concept of art beyon composition, material and staticism.
When U.S. entered the WWII, Calder shifts from metal and wire to carved wood and bronze and only in 1945 the artist returned to work with aluminium. The artworks produced after this year are characterised by a renowed grace and complexity in their form, composition and colour. Introducing sophisticated weights and cantilevers, Calder creates intricate works that were presented in the most important museums and art galleries in the world. The exhibition at Pace brings together the most important oeuvres of this period, such as Baby Flat Top (1946), Little Parasite (1947), Blue Feather (c. 1948), Scarlet Digitals (1945), Red, White and Blue on Black (1948), and Louisa’s 43rd Birthday Present (1948), a felt-lined cigar box with five miniature standing mobiles. Calder after war is the second show of a series started at Pace New York with Calder 1941 (2011) and represents a unique opportunity to appreciate a key period of one of the most important artists of the last century.