Alexander Calder

Radical Inventor

From September 22, 2018 to February 24, 2019

The first major Canadian retrospective of Alexander Calder (1898–1976) presents the work of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. The exhibition centres on the inventive talent of this American painter and sculptor.

Calder questioned artistic conventions and reimagined the very nature of drawing and sculpture with his pioneering use of industrial materials such as steel wire and sheet metal as well as found objects. By introducing the fourth dimension of time into sculpture, he entirely transformed the way objects animate space, and his invention of the mobile, as he explained, opened up “a new possibility of beauty.” Calder also created stationary abstract works, which Jean Arp dubbed “stabiles” in 1932. From Paris to New York — and later Montreal with Trois disques (Man), created for Expo 67 — Calder moved in premier artistic and intellectual circles (Cocteau, Duchamp, Le Corbusier, Léger, Mondrian, Miró, Prévert, Sartre, Varèse, among others) and established himself as a forerunner of the international avant-garde.

Major loans are among the 100 works that illustrate this ingenious artist’s extensive means of  expression, ranging from paintings and drawings to wire circus figures, hanging and standing mobiles, sheet-metal stabiles as well as jewellery.

An exhibition organized and circulated by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Calder Foundation. It is presented in Montreal thanks to the support of the Terra Foundation for American Art and Pembroke.

It is curated by Elizabeth Hutton Turner, Guest Curator, and Anne Grace, Exhibition Curator at the MMFA, under the direction of Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator of the MMFA.

On tour: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (April 5 – August 4, 2019)