Alexander Calder

22 Sep - 21 Oct 2006

Gouaches from four decades and rarely seen animal drawings featured in a new exhibition

PW 32 East 57th Street

NEW YORK, September 21, 2006—PaceWildenstein, in collaboration with the Calder Foundation, is pleased to present Alexander Calder: Gouaches 1942-1976, an exhibition focusing on a selection of 72 gouaches curated from the Foundation’s collection and a number of never-before exhibited animal drawings executed in ink by Calder in 1926. Alexander Calder: Gouaches 1942-1976 will be on view at 32 East 57th Street from September 22 through October 21, 2006. A catalogue featuring Calder’s gouaches accompanies this exhibition.

Alexander Calder developed a passion for gouaches early in his career, appreciating the ease at which he could work with this medium while combining his love for drawing and eye for color. Seemingly simple and often abstract in nature, Calder’s gouaches reveal a mastery of line, solid balance of composition and predilection for primary colors, all of which translated into vibrant and pulsating works of art.

The exhibition will also feature a selection of rarely seen ink-on-paper drawings of animals: camels, cats, chickens, goats and monkeys. As an avid draftsman, Calder strove to capture the spirit of his animal subjects—whether from the farm, zoo or home—with bold, continuous lines. The final drawings often embodied characteristics similar to caricature. In his 1926 drawing handbook, Animal Sketching, which was intended for beginners, Calder says, “Caricature is an effective means of study. Caricature the action as well as the animal. Study them intensely and discover what feature or action of theirs it is that suggests the animal. Then draw them, making them look more like the animal than ever.”

After receiving a degree in mechanical engineering from the Stevens Institute, Hoboken, New Jersey in 1919 and studying at the Art Students league in New York, Alexander Calder (1898–1976) had his first solo exhibition of oil paintings at The Artists’ Gallery in New York in 1926. As Calder began to gain notoriety for his painting and sculptural work he also continued to experiment in different mediums, eventually going on to create mobiles, stabiles, standing mobiles, wire sculptures, monumental outdoor works, oil paintings, works on paper, toys, pieces of jewelry, and household objects. As a result of his multifarious involvements, Calder secured an international reputation and was awarded commissions, prizes and honorary degrees around the world. His work is included in over 90 public institutions.

Alexander Calder: Gouaches 1942-1976 is one in a series of gallery exhibitions focusing on a particular invention or revelation within the artist's work. Previous shows included Alexander Calder: From Model to Monument (2006); Calder '76: Cutouts (2002); Earthly Forms: The Biomorphic Sculpture of Arp, Calder and Noguchi (2000); Alexander Calder: The 50’s (1996); Alexander Calder: Stabiles (1989); Alexander Calder: Bronzes (1987); and Calder’s Calders (1985).

Additional information is available upon request by contacting Jennifer Benz Joy, Public Relations Associate, at 212.421.3292 or via email at

© Alexander Calder
Untitled, 1972
gouache and ink on paper
29-1/2" x 43-1/4" (74.9 cm x 109.9 cm)



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