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January 1, 2018

Alexander Calder's Miniature Circus

From the New Yorker: "He arrived in Paris in 1926 [at age 28]. It is startling to discover that the first thing he made there remains perhaps the best thing he did in life. It's the kinetic, wire-and-collage miniature circus, complete with a full cast of characters, from ringmaster to strongman, that has been one of the ornaments of the Whitney Museum since 1971. Living in a studio in the beautiful but out-of-the-way shopping street the Rue Daguerre, in the Fourteenth Arrondissement (not then or now a remotely fashionable or artist-haunted place), he made his circus, creature by creature, out of wire bent with pliers, and powered by everything from springs to balloons."

"Calder's circus was not meant to be seen; it was meant to be watched. Calder performed it, unpacking it from suitcases and animating it, and announcing it, in a way that presaged later generations of performing art."

January 1, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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