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Traveling Exhibition 'Calder-Picasso' Explores the Connections Between Two 20th-Century Masters and Is Curated by Both Artists' Grandsons

  • MáLAGA, Spain
  • /
  • May 18, 2019

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Alexander Calder (1898-1976). Untitled, c. 1942. Sheet metal, wire and paint, 116x140x48.3 cm. Calder Foundation, New York©2019 Calder Foundation, New York / VEGAP, Madrid. Pablo Picasso (188 -1973). Tête de taureau [Bull’s Head]. Paris 1942. Bronze, 42x41x15 cm.Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte. On temporary loan to the Museo Picasso Málaga©Sucesión Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid 2019.

After its winter debut at Musée Picasso-Paris (through to August 25, 2019) the exhibition that examines relationships in the oeuvre of Calder and Picasso travels to Spain this fall.

Calder-Picasso, now in Paris, and from this September at Museo Picasso Málaga, explores the creative connections between two 20th-century modern masters: American artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976) and Málaga-born Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).

While the dialogue between Calder and Picasso is filled with endless possibilities, a vital connection can be found in their exploration and exploitation of the void, or the absence of space, which both artists delineated from the figure through to abstraction. They dealt with the attributes of presenting or representing nonspace, whether by giving definition to a subtraction of mass, as in Calder’s sculpture, or by expressing contortions of time, as in Picasso’s portraits. 

Although they did not know eachother well, "both artists played inside this 'silhouette of abstraction' by distorting volume and dimensionality, offering alternate perceptions of reality," noted AD in an earlier interview with two grandsons of Calder and Picasso, respectively, who curated the show.

Both Picasso and Calder were born in the late 19th century and their respective fathers were classically trained artists. They left their home countries and went to work in France, where they constantly reinvented themselves, destroying their own precedents and those of others, and renewing the art of their time, along with our way perceiving it. While there are certain parallels and synergies in the work of these two icons of modernism, they never came to share their artistic ideas, beyond a mutual interest in popular entertainments such as the circus.

The exhibition in Spain, from Sept. 24, 2019 – Feb. 2, 2020, is curated by Alexander S. C. Rower and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, grandsons of Calder and Picasso, respectively; Claire Garnier y Emilia Philippot, Musée national Picasso-Paris; and José Lebrero, Museo Picasso Málaga. Organized in partnership with the Calder Foundation, New York, and Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA), and co-produced by Museo Picasso Málaga and Musée national Picasso-Paris.



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