How Calder and Miró Discovered the Same Aesthetic While an Ocean Apart
Though divided by an ocean and World War II, two renowned 20th century artists managed to create remarkably similar work in their respective mediums. American artist Alexander Calder, widely known for his metal sculptures and hanging mobiles, and Spanish artist Joan Miró, a Surrealist with an early connection to the Dada community, entered complementary phases of their respective careers on opposite sides of the world. Creating hundreds of works between them, Calder and Miró were considered two of the foremost artists of the transformative 20th century. Now, a joint exhibition titled Calder / Miró: Constellations presented concurrently at Acquavella Galleries and Pace Gallery is uniting the astonishingly like-minded pieces in New York City.
Calder and Miró first made contact and formed a close friendship in Paris in 1928. The two artists found common ground as part of the alternative Montparnasse art scene, defined by its festive atmosphere for those hoping to escape capitalism and renew their zest for life. World War II splintered the artists’ communication, and they came into unique periods of their artistic careers on opposite sides of the world. But they stayed true to a shared aesthetic, developing pieces that incredibly harnessed a similar scattered, abstract presentation.
Alexander Calder Constellation Mobile, 1943 wood, wire, string, and paint 53 x 48 x 35″ (134.6 x 121.9 x 88.9 cm). Calder Foundation © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Courtesy of Pace Gallery
Constellations is not only a stunning display of the artists’ ability to think and act in creative alignment, but it also presents art as a trusted lens through which to understand a swath of history. Together, Calder and Miró’s works speak to an influential train of cognition. In 1943, Calder began experimenting with the limits of his signature hanging mobiles. Due to metal deficiencies as a result of the war, the artist focused on creating wooden sculptures and installations. A departure from the hanging mobiles that had become associated with his name, Calder threaded dynamism and an understanding of negative space through his smaller-scale wooden pieces. During wartime, Calder received his own survey show at MoMA in 1943. He was the youngest artist to date to receive such a retrospective.
Miró painted his “constellations” in the early years of 1940. Including 23 gouache paintings, the particular series is celebrated as one of Miró’s most defining body of works. Both parts of Constellations pay homage to these themes, which remained intact through both artists’ creative output during World War II.
Check out more selections from the 60-piece show, Constellations, below:
Joan Miró Vers l’arc-en-ciel (Toward the Rainbow) March 11, 1941 Gouache and oil wash on paper 18 x 15 inches (45.7 x 38.1 cm) Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998 (1999.363.53) Photo: Malcom Varon / Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY © 2016 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Alexander Calder Constellation with Diabolo, c. 1943 wood, wire and paint 24-1/2″ x 18-1/4″ x 16″ (62.2 cm x 46.4 cm x 40.6 cm). Calder Foundation © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Courtesy of Pace Gallery
Joan Miró L’oiseau-migrateur (The Migratory Bird) May 26, 1941 Gouache and oil wash on paper 18 1/8 x 15 inches (46 x 38 cm) Private Collection © 2016 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Joan Miró Le crépuscule rose caresse le sexe des femmes et des oiseaux (The Pink Dusk Caresses the Sex of Women and Birds) August 14, 1941 Gouache and oil wash on paper 18 1/8 x 15 inches (46 x 38 cm) Private Collection © 2016 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Calder: Constellations is on view through June 30 at Pace Gallery, 32 East 57th Street, and Miró: Constellations will be on view through May 26 at Acquavella Galleries, 18 East 79th Street.
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Mobile | Tate
A mobile is a type of sculpture that is formed of delicate components which are suspended in the air and move in response to air currents or motor power
© 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London
Artist Alexander Calder was the originator of the mobile. By suspending forms that move with the flow of air, Calder revolutionised sculpture. It was Marcel Duchamp who dubbed these works ‘mobiles’. Rather than a solid object of mass and weight, they continually redefine the space around them as they move. Calder’s subtle balance of form and colour resulted in works that suggest an animated version of paintings by friends such as Joan Miró.
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Kinetic art is art that depends on motion for its effects
Three-dimensional art made by one of four basic processes: carving, modelling, casting, constructing
Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect
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selected artists in the collection
selected artworks in the collection
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World Museum Walk: Mobile Apps / Newtonew: Network Education News
Reading time: 5 minutes |
Let’s start the trip from the remote treasuries of human civilization and culture: from foreign museums, and then move on to Russian ones.
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest museums in the world, with 27 buildings housing more than 32 million specimens of flora, fauna, fossils, cultural and historical objects. It was in it that the action of the film “Night at the Museum” took place, it was there that Holden Caulfield was heading in the novel “The Catcher in the Rye”, it was in it that Ross worked from the series “Friends”. Three applications have been published in the App Store mobile market, uniting the exhibits of many thematic halls into categories: dinosaurs, mammals, space. In the apps, you can read detailed information about thousands of astronomical images, view dioramas of the American Mammals Hall and travel to the Mesozoic era to meet Tyrannosaurus rex.
Louvre for iOS
The first museum in the world open to the general public, the most visited in the world, with the most versatile collection of exhibits – from antiquity to modern art from all over the world. Statue of Nike of Samothrace, Venus de Milo, Artemis; works by Michelangelo and Titian; after all, the legendary Mona Lisa lives here. The official Louvre app for iOS was released back in 2011, and since then the list of objects accessible from a smartphone has been constantly expanding. Now the application has more than 500 high-quality images, supplemented by detailed historical and cultural information. There are functions for searching, adding exhibits to bookmarks and sending your favorites to social networks or by e-mail.
New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) for iOS
MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) is the iconic contemporary art collection, New York’s top attraction, and the third most visited museum in the United States. The collection includes works without which it is impossible to imagine the art of the 20th century — Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Matisse’s The Dance, Picasso’s The Maidens of Avignon, Dali’s The Persistence of Memory. These masterpieces and thousands of others can be studied from the screen of a smartphone, learn about the history of their creation and biographies of the creators, brush up on artistic terms and share your discoveries with friends.
Solomon Guggenheim Museum for iOS and Android
The Guggenheim Museum building is a work of architectural art in itself; surely many people remember this inverted pyramidal structure from the films “Men in Black” and “Once Upon a Time in Rome”. In addition to the bright appearance, the museum is famous for one of the most extensive collections of contemporary art. As for the mobile application, it was created primarily as a guide-assistant for visitors; but for those who are away from the museum, there is a lot of interesting things: information about 1,300 exhibits, audio, video and photographic materials about the collections; virtual guides to the museum’s collections.
National Gallery of London for iOS and Android
Cost: Free for Android, $2.99 for iOS
The fourth most visited museum in the world, the core of which is Western European painting. “The Holy Family” by Titian, “The Rape of the Sabine Women” by Rubens, “Madonna Ansidei” by Raphael, “Saint George” by Tintoretto – it’s all here. In the application, you will not see all 2,000 works placed in the halls of the Gallery on a permanent basis, but you will study 250 world masterpieces that every educated person must know. An interesting feature: each object in the application is accompanied by a detailed commentary from contemporary artists and cultural experts.
One of the most famous museums in the world, with about three million works of art, became available in 2014 as a mobile application. In the application, in addition to background information about the exhibits, there is also the opportunity to take a virtual tour of the museum, visit a full-fledged virtual tour or take an educational course (features are paid, but they cost no more than an entrance ticket).
Russian Ethnographic Museum for iOS
The application contains a significant part of the half-million collection of one of the largest ethnographic museums in the world, as well as the interiors of the museum and archival materials. In addition to the “Events” and “Information” tabs, which introduce the user to the upcoming exhibitions and the history of the Russian Ethnographic Museum, there are the “Collections” and “Expositions” sections, which present drawings, engravings, documentary photographs and images of household items of traditional cultures of our homeland.
Russian Museum for iOS and Android
But to use this application, you still have to go to the museum itself in St. Petersburg (which can serve as an additional incentive to visit the city on the Neva). The application reads QR codes placed next to the exhibits in the largest museum of Russian art in the world; among the exhibits are famous ancient Russian icons, collections of works by Bryullov, Bruni, Aivazovsky, Repin, Serov, Petrov-Vodkin… QR-tags are also printed in each booklet of the Russian Museum, so all available information will be available after the visit. There is a lot of information – these are video materials, and audio stories, and textual information, and additional images.
Read more of our blog selections to help you make the most of your weekend: Lectures on Genetics, Evolution and the Human Body, Selection of Educational Films on the Human Body, TED Talks on Programming and Technology. And take a look at the guide to our blog, there will definitely be something interesting for you.
January 5, 2015, 13:00
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