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Cultural Concubine Blog

Neither here nor there…

In his Parisian studio...

Last week I went to the Calder exhibition in gemeente museum in The Hague.
I had been in love with his mobiles ever since I saw one in a Franka comic when I was small. (more on my love of comics and an actual picture of Franka with a mobile here.)

The first time I saw one for real was at a temporary exhibition at the Kröller-Müller Museum. And since then there was no way back. The mobiles look so naive and simple in their primary colours floating in space.

Faces always look better in motion...

After I researched his work some more I found that some art snobs find his work infantile and commercial. But anyone who has seen his hands at work, knows that he is an artist in movement. The simple multi-morphic forms shift and shape as you circle them. His drawings and his simple string figures are so alive and dynamic. It was when I saw his string portraits last week that I fell in love again. Just a simple single thread bent and twirled shapes a face better than many an oil painting…

At the exhibit his work was juxtaposed against Mondrian, the artist of rhythm. The combination was quite incredible.

Poetry in simplicity...

“Calder visited Mondrian’s studio in 1930 and later described how the experience transformed his understanding of abstract art.  He wrote, “This one visit gave me a shock that started things.  Though I had often heard the word ‘modern’ before, I did not consciously know or feel the term ‘abstract.’ So now at thirty-two, I wanted to paint and work in the abstract.” (1) Shortly thereafter, Calder was invited to join the international Abstraction-Création group that included Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Jean Arp, and many other artists working with geometric abstract forms.” from his Bio.

It is a pity that a blog like this can hardly capture the true art in his motions.

So please enjoy Calder in his later years, playing with his Circus:

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