The Fondation Beyeler is initiating a collaboration with the Calder Foundation in New York. Projected to run for several years, it will involve exhibiting works from the Calder Foundation in a series of curated presentations, the "Calder Gallery." The aim is provide a permanent presence at the Fondation Beyeler of works by the major American artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976), of a kind unique in Europe, and to contribute to research on his oeuvre. This project establishes a link both to the Fondation Beyeler's great exhibition "Calder - Miró" (2004) and to our series of "Rothko Rooms", which were organized in cooperation with the Rothko Estate. The first "Calder Gallery" is an homage to Mary Calder Rower, the artist's youngest daughter, who passed away in 2011 and bequeathed more than 1000 of her father's works to the Calder Foundation.
The first presentation of a selected grouping of singular works begins with pieces from the early 1930s, Calder's crucial period in Paris, in which he made movement the focus of his artistic thinking. It continues with works from the early 1940s, the middle phase in America, which also saw the first large retrospective, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1943). The show closes with a striking mobile from the last year of Calder's life, 1976, the end of an impressively productive period.
The lightness of Calder's pieces, whose moving planes and lines evoke volume without mass, tends to be associated with playfulness and games. The first presentation focuses on a different aspect that is essentially linked with the kinetic motion of the works. This is the experience of time, which each viewer of a mobile can make individually and in the context of his or her own present life.
Calder's works were regularly on view at Ernst Beyeler's gallery from the late 1950s onwards. In 1972, the gallery presented "Calder, Miró", and in 2004, the two artists were on view in a compre-hensive show at the Fondation Beyeler. The Beyeler Collection includes two large-scale Calders: Otto's Mobile, 1952, and the sculpture The Tree, 1966, in the museum park.
The "Calder Gallery" will be reinstalled at regular intervals at the Fondation Beyeler. The first presentation is curated by Theodora Vischer, Senior Curator.