Calder: Monumental features works survey of iconic American artist Alexander Calder that rise in sweeping curves or geometric planes among the Gardens’ natural landscapes, transforming their surrounding space and expressing movement in ways that recall the mobiles for which the artist is best known.
The majority of the works exhibited in Calder: Monumental are “stabiles” made of bolted steel plate. In some cases, a mobile structure sways at the top of the sculpture to create a “standing mobile.” The featured abstract and figurative sculptures span from 1956–1976 and represent a microcosm of Modernism that resonate with elements from cubism, surrealism, abstract expressionism and kinetic art.
Alexander Calder (1898–1976), whose life and work spanned the twentieth century, is celebrated as a titan of modern sculpture. He first gained recognition in the 1920s in Paris for his work of performance art Cirque Calder (1926–31). At the same time, Calder invented wire sculpture, a means of “solving” the modernist preoccupation of conveying time and motion in art by depicting subjects as massless, moving volumes that could be seen from all angles. After turning to abstraction in 1930, Calder invented another new form of sculpture, the “mobile,” so-termed by Marcel Duchamp. These innovations shared the massless quality of wire sculpture but were suspended from above with elements activated by air currents. As Calder’s renown grew, he received commissions from cities and museums around the world for monumental sculptures of the type exhibited at the Gardens, making Calder the first truly international artist – as well as one of the first to embrace public sculpture as an important element of civic life.
The exhibition is included in Gardens’ general admission. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, UMB Bank, and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).
$12.50 – Adults
$9.50 – Seniors (65+), Military (w/ID)
$9 – Students (w/ID), Children (3–15)
Free – Children 2 and under, DBG Members