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Surrealism and pure abstraction: see Calder’s evolutionary 40 year collection through July 27th at LACMA

“When I have used spheres and discs. . . they should represent more than what they just are. . . [T]he earth is a sphere but also has some miles of gas about it, volcanoes upon it, and the moon making circles around it. . . A ball of wood or a disc of metal is rather a dull object without this sense of something emanating from it.” –Alexander Calder

In 2009 I was gifted with the experience of observing Kandinsky / Calder alongside the Femmes Exhibit at the Centre Pompidou in Paris that was quite a surrealistic experience, and now Los Angeles is getting a little taste of this Avant-Garde-ness with the latest LACMA installation: Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic.

I love the style of Calder and his endless not only influence on the abstract art world, but his ever-changing form that went from a critically confusing start that was simultaneously a paradigm shift subsequently shaping the surrealistic idea of sculpture. That these jumbled-together shapes and 3D designs did mean something; they were not just something random.


LACMA’s curator Stephanie Barron expressed in the press release the importance of Calder’s revolution:

“Calder is recognized as one of the greatest pioneers of modernist sculpture, but his contribution to the development of abstract modern sculpture—steeped in beauty and humor—has long been underestimated by critics. Calder was considered a full-fledged member of the European avant-garde, becoming friendly with André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miró, and Piet Mondrian, and exhibited alongside Jean Arp, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, and many of the Surrealists.”

Calder and Abstraction opens on November 24th and will run through July 27th (adios, Kubrick!).

(photos via Upper Case MagazineArt Excursions)


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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.