There is a sense of mutability and flux in Alexander Calder's work that, I think, has to do with the fact that he was neither an artist nor a sculptor in the strictest, academic sense. He nonetheless moved through both worlds with an assurance that made each period, each work created, seem bold and new; his grandson Alexander S. C. Rower, expresses similar sentiments in the introduction of the new revue for 2015 from the Parisian contemporary art gallery and journal, Cahiers d'Art.
I recently received the above copy from the gallery and although it is just over 170 pages, I have yet to read it through to the end. Between the wealth of images and the depth of features, there is much to digest about the artist, including rare glimpses into his thought process, his personal life, and his studio practice during a fruitful period working in Paris. It also serves as an unofficial and very alluring invitation to the Calder Residency program, which is housed at Calder's studio and home in Saché, France.
According to Rower, who is also the president of the Calder Foundation, the revue focuses almost entirely on the gargantuan task of capturing in one volume, "the vibrancy of the enduring affinity between Alexander Calder and France... By weaving together texts from Cahiers d'Art published during the artist's lifetime with those commissioned for [the] revue, Calder in France offers variegated perspectives on Calder's unique position as an internationally celebrated artist."
Interestingly, Rower also writes about how 'Parisian sophisticates' such as Christian and Yvonne Zervos - the founders of Cahiers d'Art - were equally impressed, yet perplexed by Calder and his curious, kinetic works. I suppose when one's art consists of multiple moving elements, wire figurines and arching, non-representational sculptures, one is bound to perplex supporters and detractors alike.
Learn more about the revue here.
Words | Lisa-Marie Harris
Images | Lisa Marie Harris from Cahiers D'Art
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