Alexander Calder at Gagosian Gallery, London and New York

Gagosian Gallery is presenting a two part exhibition of Alexander Calder’s gouache paintings in New York and London. Calder sought to capture the constant motion of life with kinetic sculptures, and is credited as the originator of the mobile. During a yearlong stay in Aix-en-Provence in 1953 and parallel to his sculptural practice, Calder created a series of gouache paintings. He would subsequently continue to use this medium throughout his life. His paintings employ the visual vocabulary of his monumental sculptures, with primary colours and geometric forms.

On the other hand, they are much more earthly and representational. Spiralling forms reminiscent of his wire sculptures hover above pyramids, or are painted next to crimson Guatemalan sunsets, evoking abstract landscapes that border on the surreal. Boulders, solar systems, and cacti become points of departure for his exuberant line, morphing into arabesques, orbs, and bold stripes.

CALDE kwaiAlexander Calder Kwai (1974). Gouache on paper, 75 x 110 cm

CALDE 1971.0007 web
Alexander Calder Jungle (1971). Gouache and ink on paper, 110 x 75 cm

CALDE onered
Alexander Calder One Red, Three Blues on Fossil (1940). Gouache on paper, 75 x 110 cm

by Louise Lui

Images © 2014 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever

Alexander Calder: Gouaches will run from May 8 to June 14 at Gagosian Gallery New York, and from June 10 to 26 at Gagosian Gallery London.