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February 06, 2006

Alexander Calder's Large-Scale Sculpture

"Alexander Calder : From Model to Monument", PaceWildenstein (534 W 25th Street).
This weekend I got to spend some time roaming the Chelsea galleries alone in the rain, yes all my "friends" did abandoned me! 

So in keeping with my theme of outside free art is the best art, and considering how much everyone almost unanimously hated my first large public sculpture pic (MAO Quiz #2) of Damien Hirst "The Virgin Mother," I thought maybe something a bit more simple, pretty abstract might please the picky discerning MOA readers.  So, the most impressive show in Chelsea this weekend was by far at PaceWildenstein. It opened on Feb 3rd, and runs through till March 4th.
Picture_015     They have over 30 Caler stabiles made from 1956 to 1976. Most of these rarely exhibited works were the unpainted maquettes which the artist used to develop the large scale works.

For all those clueless like me, who had almost no idea what the hell a MAQUETTE is.. I looked it up.. thank GOD Gates for wikipedia!

A maquette is a small scale model for a finished sculpture. It is used to visualize and test shapes and ideas without incurring the cost and effort of producing a full scale sculpture. It is the analogue of the painter cartoon or sketch.
For commissioned sculptures, especially monumental public sculptures, a maquette may be used to show the client how the finished work will fit in the proposed site.
A maquette may also refer to a prototype for a video game or any other type of prototype.

Additionally they have 3 mid-size maquettes.

The first mid-size work, (Photo #1 above, presented in Black) Gwenfritz 1968, an Object in Five Planes, is shown along side it's small model.  This work was commissioned for the Smithsonian Institution Museum of History and Technology. Gwenfritz, like the other 2 intermediate works are all in a 1:5 scale.

Picture_012The second intermediate maquette is Trois Pics from 1967. (Photo #2, presented in Black) This work was commissioned for the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble.

Here's a photo of the full sized Trois Pic's Monument in FranceTroispics I found on a travel website (photo # 3 to the right)

They also have a third  mid-sized work, Monsieur Loyal  1967. (Not pictured in the gallery...sorry.. I'll check  the Internet for an image of this one) A Monsieur Loyal is a main performer in a Circus, as a clown.  This work is also in Grenoble France, and was commissioned for Lycee Jean Bart. Monsieurloyal The Monument is 8 meters high. Here's a tourist photo of it I was able to find.  (Photo #4 to the right)

Lastly the Calder Family has loaned a huge (but yet only 1:3 size) model of Jerusalem Stabile 1976.

Picture_011  This was one of Alexander Calder's last works. (Photo # 5, shown in RED) It is a 24 foot sculpture, but seeing this work inside, just makes it feel that much bigger.  This work is also used for the cover of this new shows catalog.  Where an essay by Marc Glimcher is featured, and the artwork renderings are by Motohiko Tukuta.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to see such a broad collection of large size Calder Stabiles, they are really quite whimsical. Not too many Museums/Galleries have this type of grand exhibition space to display these work inside, which makes for a nice escape from the NYC winter!

For more info check out the Calder Foundation website


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