Calder in the Alps

Alexander Calder, Six Planes Escarpé, 1967; installation view near Gstaad; sheet metal, bolts and paint; 119 x 156 x 150 in inches; photo by Jon Etter, © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London, courtesy of Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, New York and Hauser & Wirth
Alexander Calder, Six Planes Escarpé, 1967; installation view near Gstaad; sheet metal, bolts and paint; 119 x 156 x 150 in inches; photo by Jon Etter, © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London, courtesy of Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, New York and Hauser & Wirth

A temporary outdoor sculpture exhibition has opened in the Swiss Alps with installations of six works by Alexander Calder. Presented by Hauser & Wirth and the Calder Foundation, Calder in the Alps takes place in and around the posh resort town of Gstaad.

 

Alexander Calder, 3 Flèches Blanches, 1965; installation view in Gstaad; sheet metal, rod, bolts, and paint; 196 7/8 x 216 1/2 inches; photo by Jon Etter, © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London, courtesy of Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, New York and Hauser & Wirth
Alexander Calder, 3 Flèches Blanches, 1965; installation view in Gstaad; sheet metal, rod, bolts, and paint; 196 7/8 x 216 1/2 inches; photo by Jon Etter, © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London, courtesy of Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, New York and Hauser & Wirth

Calder is best known for perfectly balanced mobiles (a term coined by Marcel Duchamp), but his monumental stabiles are equally impressive. Works from the later part of his career became increasingly large and were typically installed in public spaces.

 

Alexander Calder, Untitled, 1976; installation view near Gstaad; sheet metal, bolts and paint; 170 x 80 x 150 inches; photo by Jon Etter, © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London, courtesy of Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, New York and Hauser & Wirth
Alexander Calder, Untitled, 1976; installation view near Gstaad; sheet metal, bolts and paint; 170 x 80 x 150 inches; photo by Jon Etter, © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London, courtesy of Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, New York and Hauser & Wirth

La Grande Vitesse (1969) in Cedar Rapids, MI was the first civic sculpture to receive funding from the NEA. Mountains and Clouds (1986) weighs 35 tons and fills the atrium of a Senate office building in Washington, DC. Poisson Volant (1957) set an artist auction record in 2014 for $25.9 million. For Calder’s sculptures, superlatives apply.

 

Alexander Calder, Tripes, 1974; installation view in Gstaad; sheet metal, bolts, and paint; 144 x 132 x 118 inches; photo by Jon Etter, © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London, courtesy of Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, New York and Hauser & Wirth
Alexander Calder, Tripes, 1974; installation view in Gstaad; sheet metal, bolts, and paint; 144 x 132 x 118 inches; photo by Jon Etter, © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London, courtesy of Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, New York and Hauser & Wirth

Calder in the Alps places monumental works in a natural environment rather than an urban one, for an effect like the waterside installations at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. In Gstaad, the abstracted shapes of five stabiles and the kinetic balance of a standing mobile contrast with the alpine landscape to become even more dynamic.

 

Alexander Calder, Four Planes Escarpé (left), and Six Planes Escarpé (right), 1967; installation view near Gstaad; sheet metal, bolts, and paint; 120 x 139 x 147 inches and 119 x 156 x 150 inches; photo by Jon Etter, © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London, courtesy of Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, New York and Hauser & Wirth
Alexander Calder, Four Planes Escarpé (left), and Six Planes Escarpé (right), 1967; installation view near Gstaad; sheet metal, bolts, and paint; 120 x 139 x 147 inches and 119 x 156 x 150 inches; photo by Jon Etter, © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London, courtesy of Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, New York and Hauser & Wirth

Calder in the Alps opened on July 14 and continues through September 30, 2016.  A concurrent exhibition, Calder & Fischli/Weiss, continues through September 4 at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel.