Alexander Calder: From the Stony River to the Sky

Here is another exhibition that you will have to move quickly to catch. It ends on September 9th 2018, so just two weekend to go, if you need to travel.

Back in 2016 we were fortunate to see the huge Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture, exhibition at Tate Modern in London. It was a real joy and confirmed for us what an amazing talent the man was. What then could we learn, from another exhibition of his work?

Well the brilliant news is that the “From the Stony River to the Sky" exhibition at Hauser & Wirth opens up a new side to his genius. Yes, there are the sublimely graceful and elegant mobiles and a nice array of statics, we would expect that. What you also get here though is a wonderful look into the the creations and inventions that he produced for his home and they are magnificent.There are also some stunning paintings from Calder, not a discipline that we normally associate with him.

Let’s talk about his creations for the home, here we get to see how inventive he could be. Some of the the pieces have a wonderful Heath Robinson quality to them, there is an amazing toaster which looks like something the Flintstones may have used! Recycled tins and cans are turned into gorgeous ashtrays. An array of kitchen implements show both his engineering skill and the ability to fashion a brilliant solution from an unlikely source. Toilet rolls holders chairs and much more can be found here. Fun, clever and deceptively simple, it’s a real treat to see these items.

The paintings are full of gorgeous colours and swoon inducing shapes and angles, they are elegant beauties. So lovely to be able to see this side of his creative journey.

The mobiles are are captivating as ever, some of them, giant in scale, gently rotate, sending a kaleidoscope of shadows mesmerisingly over the pure white walls of the gallery. The technical skill in creating these pieces is astounding. Even more impressive is that the effort to create them is hidden from the viewer. They appear to float through the air, so simple and serene, it’s almost as though no work has gone into them at all, despite the exact opposite being true. Simple in colour and shape they are the very embodiment of fluid and beautiful art

The large free standing statics can be found both inside and outside the gallery. They are a mixture of the cheeky and the imposing, their rigidity in stark counterpoint to the mobiles but very impressive in their own way.

Many of the pieces in this exhibition have not been seen in the UK. There is also a lovely short film narrated by Alexander Calder’s grandson (who now works for the Calder foundation) which describes the home life and environment that inspired the work that we see.