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Wednesday, 11 November 2015 10:51

A Restored Calder Mobile Goes on View at Tate Modern

One of Alexander Calder’s largest and most complex mobiles is to be shown outside Brazil for the first time this week after being restored by his grandson, Alexander Rower. Black Widow (around 1948) will be hung in its own space as the finale of the exhibition Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture (11 November-3 April 2016) at Tate Modern in London—the largest show of Calder’s work ever held in the UK.

Rower, the head of the Calder Foundation in New York, is on a mission to restore as many sculptures as possible.

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There was a Calder sculpture on a tabletop, a Calder on a bookcase, and a Calder mobile hung from the ceiling.

When there was no room left to hang the Picasso or Matisse drawings in the Kahns’ Riverside Drive home on the Upper West Side, the couple stacked artworks on the floor, against the wall.

Over five decades, the Kahns — Arthur, a successful dentist, and his wife, Anita — built an art collection that seemed to fill every inch of their Manhattan apartment, initially a two-bedroom that grew as they combined it with the apartment next door.

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They span 75 feet, weigh 4,300 pounds and can’t move.

The four, black aluminum clouds comprising the once-mobile component of “Mountains and Clouds”—one of the final works of sculptor Alexander Calder, which dominates the Hart Senate office building’s 90-foot-high atrium—haven’t drifted for more than a decade. They once rotated at a gentle speed, but have been frozen in place for years after a bearing failed.

Now, Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, where Mr. Calder often worked, is pushing to restore the artistic integrity of the design advanced by Mr. Calder, whose mobiles and other works often incorporated movement.

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The Baltimore Museum of Art is hitting the road.

Special pieces are barnstorming a few Baltimore neighborhoods, making some works accessible to all and giving people the opportunity to be the patron and the artist.

"You don't usually see a small museum in a neighborhood. You usually have to drive to the museum, so it's like a sneak attack," said Katie Bachler, the BMA's Meadows education fellow.

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Sculpture is to take centre stage at the Tate galleries next year, with the first major retrospective in 20 years of Alexander Calder – credited with inventing the mobile – and a showcase of Barbara Hepworth's carvings and bronzes among the highlights of Tate's 2015 programme.

Other exhibitions include Jackson Pollock, South African painter Marlene Dumas and a look at pop art's international influences.

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture at Tate Modern will trace the works of the groundbreaking US-born sculptor, born in 1898, from his early years entertaining the bohemians of inter-war Paris with works such as Calder's Circus.

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Alexander Calder's prominent "Black Crescent" mobile has been removed from the Delaware Art Museum's East Court and its collections database, making it potentially the third work the museum will sell by October.

Museum CEO Mike Miller would not confirm whether the mobile by the late sculptor, purchased by the museum in 1961, will be sold. The Wilmington museum is trying to raise $30 million to repay construction debt from a 2005 facilities expansion and replenish its endowment.

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The 27th edition of The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) opened to the public on March 14 in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The show, which is widely regarded as the world’s leading art fair, brings together 275 of the finest art and antiques dealers from around the globe. Offerings include everything from Old Master paintings and antiquities to 20th century design and contemporary art.

This year’s show began with a V.I.P preview on Thursday, March 13, which saw a number of big-ticket sales. Galerie Odermatt-Vedovi (Paris) sold a mobile by Alexander Calder to a European collector for around $2.6 million and Van de Weghe Fine Art (New York) sold Pablo Picasso’s “Tete couronnee” in black crayon on paper to a Belgian collector for $485,000.

A number of important works are being offered at this year’s fair including Vincent van Gogh’s “Moulin de la Galette,” which will be exhibited by Dickinson (New York/London); a double portrait of Sir George Villiers and Lady Catherine Manners as Adonis and Venus by Sir Anthony van Dyck, which is being shown by David Koetser Gallery (Zurich); and three works by Damien Hirst, which are being offered by Tomasso Brothers Fine Art (London/Leeds).

TEFAF runs through March 23. 

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