A friend and fan of the arts accompanied me to the Alexander Calder show at the Peabody Essex Museum today. While I really enjoyed the mobiles and stabiles, I think I enjoyed the comaraderie the most.
Because the art was on loan from LACMA, I couldn't take photographs of the actual exhibit pieces. I did draw some fairly peculiar images, though. The mobiles would move, and the stabiles were SO 3D and peculiarly shaped, that drawing them in any sort of representational way was pretty challenging. The photographs of the actual pieces are from Google Images and are of the FULL SIZE pieces. The all orange one, called La Grande Vitesse, is in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Black and Orange one, called Southern Cross is at the Storm King Art Center in upstate New York. They will re-open April 1, 2015. I want to go!
Calder believed that a big piece had to look good even when it was small, so he almost always made "maquettes" or miniatures of the big pieces, and those were primarily what fit in the museum gallery. The pieces I drew (below right) were, I think, final size. Note how they balance on a single point. As good as Cirque du Soleil! There were several batches of elementary aged school children present. They seemed quite entranced with the mysterious physics, construction methods and just-plain differentness of these works.
Another special exhibit consisted of furniture now believed to have been made in the workshop of Nathaniel Gould. The installation was particularly well thought out, with video showing a contemporary craftsman replicate significant elements by hand: a carved scallop, chair leg, and Chippendale chair back.
Furniture Institute of Massachusetts, Phil Lowe.
As always, the PEM museum shop had lots of treasures. I hope that I can persuade my husband to make some copies of these trees in the workshop before NEXT Christmas.