CALDER NOW at Kunsthal Rotterdam

Untitled 1938, maquette for a major work at the 1939 World Fair in New York

I always think of Alexander Calder as an artist of the 1960s. His signature wire and dangly-bit sculptures were very similar to fashionable furniture of the time – a typical 1960 coffee table hung from the ceiling would  have certain similarities to the work of the American artist – wire and coloured plastic being intrinsic ingredients of both.

This nicely mounted major retrospective in the large upstairs gallery at the Kunsthal not only includes his famous mobiles but demonstrates his influence on contemporary artists Olafur Eliasson, Žilvinas Kempinas, Simone Leigh, Ernesto Neto, Carsten Nicolai, Aki Sasamoto, Roman Signer, Monika Sosnowska, Sarah Sze and Rirkrit Tiravanija whose work is also included in the show.

I was most interested to see Calder’s early work from the 1940s and 50s. I loved the three small pieces shown in glass cases which utilized objets trouvé like rusty tin cans and candles. One of them, Untitled 1938, was the maquette for a major work at the 1939 World Fair in New York.  Well worth seeing.   Michael Hasted    25th February 2022

CALDER NOW continues at the Kunsthal Rotterdam until 29th May