Alexander Calder – Performing Sculpture at Tate Modern
Gaining intense admiration from Albert Einstein and being known as the creator of “the mobile”, Alexander Calder’s works have landed at the Tate Modern as a celebration of his career. In an attempt to perpetuate the legacy and successes of the American sculptor, 11th November marked the start date of this year’s Tate exhibition, the same date that Calder passed away almost four decades ago.
Often regarded as a key leader in the Modernist art movement, the works of Calder effortlessly embody the man behind them – an artist who dedicated his efforts to pursuing what he wanted to achieve the most, which was, in his own words, to not just create sculptures, but to bring them to life as a means of “experiencing them in space and present time”.
Upon entering the exhibition, the artwork of Calder immediately catches the eye; his bold, intriguing pieces stand out against bare walls, perhaps symbolic of the significant flare Calder has brought to art in the context of modernity.
Calder explored an array of subjects and ideas through his works: he instilled life into his sculptures by combining them with various elements of “form, size, colour and noise”, perhaps best exemplified in his 1932 piece Small Sphere, Heavy Sphere. The work consists of various materials (glass, wood and tin) that, when hit by a small gong, produce a harmony of sounds. A live demonstration of the musical sequence of the model was sadly not possible, though it would perhaps have truly exhibited the artist’s genius. However, a short piece of film footage was placed in the same room as the artwork, showing the sequence of the model, including sound.
Whilst working hard to preserve the compelling work of Calder, the Tate Modern exhibition nonetheless succeeds in conveying the pioneering greatness of the sculptor’s work. From the combination of his weightless art forms and pieces on stilts (show his deep interest on the subject of motion), and the neat arrangement of his art segmented into 11 rooms, this exhibition is sure to leave you astonished.
Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture is at the Tate Modern from 11th November 2015 until 3rd April 2016, for further information visit here.