tag archives: post war and contemporary art

have you ever noticed that people are mesmerized by movement?

alexander calder: performing sculpture, an exhibition at the tate modern museum in london from 11 november 2015 – 3 april 2016, could be described as mesmerizing.  it’s the largest calder exhibition ever shown in great britain, with eleven galleries displaying approximately 100 works.

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alexander calder: performing sculpture | tate modern museum | london, united kingdom | 11 november 2015 – 3 april 2016

saint paul’s cathedral and the millenium bridge in the background

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

american sculptor, alexander calder (1898-1976), may be best known for transforming sculpture into a kinetic art form.

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alexander calder (1898-1976) | antennae with red and blue dots | hanging mobile | aluminum and steel wire | circa 1953

collection of the tate modern museum | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) 2015 calder foundation, new york / DACS, london via BBC

his kinetic sculptures could also be described as performance art.

at the beginning of his career, calder gained fame, received introductions, and made friends through cirque calder, the miniature mechanical circus that he created and performed in paris and new york from 1926-1931.

calder’s friends included artists joan miró (1893-1983) and fernand léger (1881-1955), as well as composer edgard varèse (1883-1965).  my husband, bob, and i were captivated by calder’s three dimensional wire caricatures of them.

‘i think best in wire.’  -alexander calder

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alexander calder (1898-1976) | joan miró | wire | circa 1930

on loan from a private collection

photo credit courtesy of the calder foundation via the new centrist

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alexander calder (1898-1976) | varése | wire | 1930

on loan from the whitney museum of american art | new york, NY

photo credit (c) calder foundation via the whitney

Fernand Legersmall

alexander calder (1898-1976) | fernand léger | wire | 1930

on loan from a private collection

photo credit (c) calder foundation, new york / DACS, london via the arts desk

at the tate modern, the installation and the illumination capture the shadows cast by the suspended sculptures.

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room 3 | alexander calder: performing sculpture | tate modern museum | london, united kingdom | 11 november 2015 – 3 april 2016

photo credit joe humphrys, tate photography / courtesy: calder foundation, new york / DACS, london via wallpaper

calder began creating abstract sculptures, most commonly made from wire and sheet metal, following a visit to the paris studio of dutch painter piet mondrian (1872-1944) in 1930.  he began suspending his abstract sculptures, and using airflow or touch, instead of mechanics or motorization, to generate movement.  another one of his friends, artist marcel duchamp (1887-1968), called calder’s suspensions mobiles, a pun on the french words for movement and motive.

like other viewers, bob and i were magnetized by the movement of the mobiles.

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room 9 | alexander calder: performing sculpture | tate modern museum | london, united kingdom | 11 november 2015 – 3 april 2016

photo credit joe humphrys, tate photography / courtesy: calder foundation, new york / DACS, london via wallpaper

some mobiles move silently.

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alexander calder (1898-1976) | snow flurry I | hanging mobile | painted steel sheet and steel wire | 1948

on loan from the collection of the museum of modern art | new york, NY

photo credit (c) 2016 calder foundation, new york / artists rights society (ARS), new york via MOMA

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alexander calder (1898-1976) | gamma | hanging mobile | painted sheet metal and steel wire | 1947

on loan from the collection of jon a. shirley | seattle, WA

photo credit calder foundation, new york / DACS, london via wsj

while, the movement of other mobiles creates sound.

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alexander calder (1898-1976) | triple gong | hanging mobile | brass, sheet metal, wire and paint | circa 1948

on loan from the collection of the calder foundation | new york, NY

photo credit calder foundation, new york / art resource, new york / ARS, new york / DACS, london via wsj

does silence somehow seem more eloquent?

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alexander calder (1898-1976) | black widow | hanging mobile | wire and painted metal | circa 1948

on loan from the institute of architects of brazil | säo paulo, brazil

photo credit joe humphrys, tate photography / courtesy: calder foundation, new york / DACS, london via wallpaper

our visit to london conveniently coincided with the post war and contemporary art auctions, which prominently featured works by alexander calder.

the auction previews provided an opportunity to view calder’s hanging and standing mobiles more closely.

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alexander calder (1898-1976) | untitled | hanging mobile | painted sheet metal and wire | 1967

sold for £962,500 (US$ $1,396,588) | lot 2 | sale 11795 | post war and contemporary art evening auction | 11 february 2016 | christie’s king street | london, united kingdom

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

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alexander calder (1898-1976) | crag with yellow boomerang and red eggplant | standing mobile | painted sheet metal and wire | 1974

sold for £1,874,500 (US$ 2719,900) | lot 3 | sale 11795 | post war and contemporary art evening auction | 11 february 2016 | christie’s king street | london, united kingdom

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

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alexander calder (1898-1976) | the black mountain | oil on canvas | 1945

sold for £602,500 (US$ 874,228) | lot 1 | sale 11795 | post war and contemporary art evening auction | 11 february 2016 | christie’s king street | london, united kingdom

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

you could say that calder performed rather well…

san francisco is such a beautiful, and easy place to live.  even so, my husband, bob, and i really miss the museum quality auction previews that we enjoyed while living in london.

so to us, christie’s @ hedge seems like a little bit of london in san francisco.

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joe bradley | tres hombres | oil, crayon, spraypaint and collage on canvas | 2011

post-war and contemporary art evening sale | christie’s new york | 10 november 2015

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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willem de kooning (1904-1997) | figures in a landscape #2 | oil on paper laid on canvas | 1976

post-war and contemporary art evening sale | christie’s new york | 10 november 2015

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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brice nauman | untitled (hand group) | phosphorous bronze | 1997

post-war and contemporary art evening sale | christie’s new york | 10 november 2015

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

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stuart davis (1892-1964) | autumn landscape | oil on canvas | 1940

post-war and contemporary art evening sale | christie’s new york | 10 november 2015

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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robert motherwell (1915-1991) | california window | acrylic on canvas | 1975

post-war and contemporary art evening sale | christie’s new york | 10 november 2015

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

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arnaldo pomodoro | sfera | bronze with lucite base | 1966

post-war and contemporary art evening sale | christie’s new york | 10 november 2015

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

christie’s @ hedge

1-5 october 2015 | hedge gallery | san francisco

highlights from the post-war and contemporary art evening sale | christie’s new york | 10 november 2015

the christie’s preview of their may 2015 new york post-war and contemporary art auctions at hedge gallery

in san francisco included some of my favorite california artists.

christie’s @ hedge

san francisco exhibition of post-war and contemporary art

16-22 april 2015 | san francisco, CA

wayne thiebaud.

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wayne thiebaud | heart ridge | oil on canvas | 1969

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art day sale session II | new york, NY | 14 may 2015

sale 3741 | lot 523 | estimate US$400,000-US$600,000

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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wayne thiebaud | interchange | oil on canvas | 1979

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art evening session | new york, NY | 13 may 2015

sale 3741 | lot 21 B | estimate US$2,500,000-US$3,500,000

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

ruth asawa.

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ruth asawa (1926-2013) | untitled, s. 080 (hanging five-lobed continuous form within a form) | iron wire | 1950

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art day sale session II | new york, NY | 14 may 2015

sale 3741 | lot 521 | estimate US$700,000-US$900,000

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

richard diebenkorn.

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richard diebenkorn (1922-1993) | untitled | charcoal and acrylic on paper | 1978

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art day sale session II | new york, NY | 14 may 2015

sale 3741 | lot 529 | estimate US$500,000-US$700,000

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace and christie’s

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richard diebenkorn (1922-1993) | untitled | acrylic and gouache on paper | 1977

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art day sale session II | new york, NY | 14 may 2015

sale 3741 | lot 527 | estimate US$500,000-US$700,000

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace and christie’s

i wish that i could attend the richard diebenkorn exhibition at the royal academy of arts in london.

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richard diebenkorn | ocean park #27 | oil on canvas | 1970

photo credit (c) 2014 the richard diebenkorn foundation

richard diebenkorn

royal academy of arts | london, united kingdom

14 march-7 june 2015

when my husband, bob, and i lived in london, we really enjoyed attending the auction previews at christie’s, sotheby’s, and bonham’s in st. james’s and mayfair.  so this week, i felt like i was living in london again.  including the difficulty parking in the jackson square neighborhood of san francisco, near hedge gallery.

christie’s previewed their may 2015 new york post-war and contemporary art auctions at hedge.

christie’s @ hedge

san francisco exhibition of post-war and contemporary art

16-22 april 2015 | san francisco, CA

alexander calder and gerhard richter.

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alexander calder (1898-1976) | untitled (demi cone) | painted sheet metal and wire | 1972

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art day sale session II | new york, NY | 14 may 2015

sale 3741 | lot 513 | estimate US$1,200,000-US$1,800,000

alexander calder (1898-1976) | six white dots and yellow on black and red | painted sheet metal and wire | 1964

christie’s post-war and contemporary art day sale session II | new york, NY | 14 may 2015

sale 3741 | lot 415 | estimate US$550,000-US$750,000

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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gerhard richter | abstraktes bild | oil on canvas | 1986

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art day sale session I | 14 may 2015

sale 3741 | lot 200 | estimate US$1,500,000-US$2,000,000

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

robert motherwell.

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robert motherwell (1915-1991) | the blakan lute | acrylic, ink and paper collage on canvas | 1974-1975

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art day sale session II | 14 may 2015

sale 3741 | lot 568 | estimate US$500,000-US$700,000

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

joan mitchell.

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joan mitchell (1925-1992) | untitled | oil on canvas | 1974

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art day sale session II | 14 may 2015

sale 3741 | lot 571 | estimate US$600,000-US$800,000

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

another gerhard richter.

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gerhard richter | abstraktes bild | oil on canvas | 1989

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art day sale session I | 14 may 2015

sale 3741 | lot 202 | estimate US$2,000,000-US$3,000,000

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

but, i thought that a sculpture made from found aluminum and copper wire was the most unusual work in the exhibition.

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el anatsui | plot a plan I | found aluminum and copper wire | 2007

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art day sale session I | 14 may 2015

sale 3741 | lot 210 | estimate US$700,000-US$900,000

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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christie’s | post-war and contemporary art evening sale | sale 3740 | new york, NY | 13 may 2015

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art day sale session I | sale 3741 | new york, NY | 14 may 2015

christie’s | post-war and contemporary art day sale session II | sale 3741 | new york, NY | 14 may 2015

photo credits christie’s, christie’s, and christie’s