02 JUL 2019

Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor at the NGV

The most impressive Calder work we've seen in our travels is in Chicago, "Flamingo" (1974). It's not traditionally attractive but it's definitely memorable and like great art, the more you find out about the artist and their work, the more it grows on you.

It's set amongst several great works of architecture by Mies van der Rohe – the red sculpture against black buildings is the centrepiece of the city we think.

"Flamingo" by Alexander Calder


Of course "Flamingo" is too large to travel but the series of works at Melbourne's NGV we saw last week carefully survey the ouevre of Alexander Calder in depth, offering a cross section of work across periods and mediums. We loved the absolutely miniature sculptures he created at a very young age – dogs and wire animals which hint at the sympathy he had for form and movement.

The mobiles are the most loved of his works, studying colour and organic movement with delicate suspension. His radically inventive artworks have been added to the collections of many museums and he is represented in other key civic spaces including New York, Seattle and Kansas City.

The Alexander Calder exhibition is on at the NGV until August 4.

Words by Emma Eagle, Photography by Dan Eagle

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