Alexander CalderRed Toadstool, 1949Sheet metal, wire, paint21 x 16 x 8 inches (53.3 x 40.6 x 20.3 cm)© 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New YorkDOMINIQUE LÉVY TO PRESENT RARE CALDER SCULPTURES
IN AN ENVIRONMENT DESIGNED BY
Beginning April 22, Dominique Lévy will present Alexander Calder. MULTUM IN PARVO, an exhibition of more than 40 rare small-scale sculptures by an American master, installed in an environment conceived for them by the architect Santiago Calatrava.
Taking its title, MULTUM IN PARVO, from the Latin phrase meaning “much in little,” the exhibition explores the ways in which Alexander Calder’s most diminutive works, ranging from thumb-sized to 30 inches tall, achieve monumental impact. These sculptures often share the same physical properties as Calder’s largest stabiles and mobiles, but via the tiniest details. Presented in collaboration with the Calder Foundation, the exhibition at Dominique Lévy casts a spotlight for the first time on the complex and often surprising relationship between scale and size in Calder’s oeuvre over a period of more than 30 years. The show includes one of his smallest sculptures from the 1950s that measures just over one inch high —a miracle of miniature.
Many of Alexander Calder’s small-scale works were models for larger objects, occasionally produced as proposals to be presented to clients and their architects. Six standing mobiles from MULTUM IN PARVO were made in 1939 from wood, wire, lead, and metal elements on black wooden bases for Calder’s friend, the architect Percival Goodman, to include in his submission to a competition for a new Smithsonian Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In the end, Goodman was awarded second place to Eliel and Eero Saarinen, whose controversial ultra-modernist project was never realized in the architecturally conservative city.
These six standing mobiles are exhibited together for the first time at Dominique Lévy, 909 Madison Avenue, New York City.