Calder and Abstraction

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has just opened an exhibit of some works by the American sculptor Alexander Calder. Calder was famous for his mobiles, kinetic sculpture that makes the viewer experience space in a new way. The exhibit is titled “Calder and Abstraction.” It opened on November 24, 2013 and will run through July 27, 2014.

The exhibit includes about 50 pieces from the free-thinking Calder, including several of his mobiles. It will also include some of his “stabiles” (that is, non-kinetic sculptures) and maquettes (scale models) for larger outdoor works.

Calder was renowned for the energy of his works. They seem to vibrate with a certain joyfulness.

One of the pieces for the exhibit is this maquette –


“La Grande Vitesse,” maquette by Alexander Calder

Even as a scale model, it is not small. It invites some lively fine art perusal. But it is an intermediate stage on the way to Calder’s final version of the work. The final form is an outdoor installation (not part of the exhibit) that looks like this –


“La Grande Vitesse” photo of full sculpture, by Alexander Calder

Obviously, sculpture ought to be experienced in person, to get a sense of the physicality in size and shape.

Well, in truth, all art ought to be experienced in person, physically. No reproduction does full justice to the experience of seeing the original. For Angelinos there are plenty of opportunities to see original works of art. We have a fine selection of museums throughout the region, as well as galleries and studios that are easily accessible.

If you are in the Venice area, stop by the Tech Studio on Abbot Kinney where you will find the works of abstract artist Diana Hobson sharing the space. Her paintings manage to capture a liveliness and joy similar to that of Calder’s. A visit here has the added benefit of being free.

You will be able to see works like her “Elusive Target” any day of the week.


“Elusive Target” by Diana Hobson


The photo reproduction of Calder’s “La Grande Vitesse”, both the maquette and the full sculpture are included here under Fair Use for purposes of information and instruction.

“Elusive Target” by Diana Hobson, copyright by Diana Hobson, used with permission.


TAGS: Alexander Calder, Diana Hobson, mobiles, La Grande Vitesse, Elusive Target, mobiles, stabiles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA, Tech Studio, Venice, Abbot Kinney


One thought on “Calder and Abstraction

  1. Pingback: Grand Inspiration | cerulean gypsy

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