a must-see exhibition at Kunsthal Rotterdam on the influence of Alexander Calder on contemporary art


ROTTERDAM from Netherlands, July 20, 2021 / PRNewswire / – This next fall, the Kunsthal Rotterdam will be proud to present ‘Calder Now’, a vast exhibition that explores for the first time in Europe the lasting and unmistakable influence of the modern master on contemporary art. ‘Calder Now’ features more than twenty sculptures by Alexandre calder alongside works by ten leading contemporary artists: Olafur Eliasson, ilvinas Kempinas, Simone leigh, Ernesto Neto, Carsten Nicolai, Aki Sasamoto, Roman signatory, Monika Sosnowska, Sarah sze and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Enigmatic gravity-defying installations, sculptures that induce extraordinary optical experiences, and art that appeals to all the senses reveal new connections with Calder and highlight the countless extensions of his heritage. Offering a new perspective on the evolution of contemporary art during the 20th and 21st centuries, this unmissable Kunsthal production is produced in close collaboration with guest curators. Dieter Buchhart and Anna karina hofbauer, and the Calder Foundation. Many sculptures and installations will be presented in the Netherlands for the first time.

Alexandre calder (United States, 1898-1976) gave rise to many revolutionary artistic innovations. In his quest to go beyond the three spatial dimensions, making the fourth dimension of time an important and indispensable part of his work, Calder has succeeded in transforming the contemporary understanding of sculpture. He was the first to remove the sculpture from its pedestal, hanging it in the air. With his dynamic mobiles capable of moving freely in space, he was one of the initiators, alongside artists such as Marcel Duchamp and László Moholy-Nagy – the kinetic art movement that revolutionized the static nature of art in the early 20th century. Calder became a source of inspiration for subsequent generations of artists.

Multisensory experience

In the largest gallery of the Kunsthal, a selection of revolutionary works by Calder spanning the entire career forms the focal point of the exhibition, from the first motorized works to suspended mobiles, to standing mobiles such as “Blue Feather” (circa 1948) and monumental sculptures. Contemporary artists resonate with important themes in Calder’s work: light and reflection, humble materials, senses, sound, activation, architecture, ephemeral, gravity, performance and positive and negative space. The ten international artists of ‘Calder Now’ present pieces that could not have existed without the precedence of various innovative aspects of Calder’s visionary work. The exhibition leads the visitor through a multisensory experience.

Olafur Eliasson, for example, uses natural phenomena such as light to explore perception. Simone leigh tells stories about the American history of slavery through the media of humble materials. And Monika Sosnowska transforms architectural materials into unexpected gravity-defying sculptures, creating new visual connections between his art and the exhibition space. 2007 Calder Prize winner Žilvinas Kempinas, whose sculptures are at the intersection of installation and kinetic art, will launch a new piece for ‘Calder Now’. Likewise, Aki Sasamoto will create a new performance work especially for the exhibition during his residency at Atelier Calder, which operates in Calder’s home and studio in Saché, France. The exhibition shows how Calder’s legacy continues to inspire and inform contemporary practice fifty years after the artist’s death. These revolutionary artists invite new conversations and interpretations of his work.

Kunsthal Rotterdam Commercial Director Herman van Karnebeek explains: “We are proud and delighted that this autumn’s unique ‘Calder Now’ exhibition allows us to add a new chapter to the narrative of modern and contemporary art. This Kunsthal production is a wonderful addition to our tradition of presenting works by great modern masters, such as Alberto Giacometti, Edvard munch, and Edward hopper. We are delighted that we are the first to present this special international exhibition here at Rotterdam and make these exceptional works of art accessible to a wide audience. “

Save the date: press preview Friday, November 19

The ‘Calder Now’ press preview will take place on Friday, November 19 from 1:00 p.m. leave, in the presence of Mr. Alexander SC rower, grandson of Calder and chairman of the Calder Foundation. Speakers will include guest curators Dieter Buchhart and Anna karina hofbauer, as well as curator Kunsthal Eva van diggelen. After a Q&A, the press can visit the exhibition. Accreditation for the press conference is required by [email protected].


In collaboration with the guest curators, the Calder Foundation and various experts, the Kunsthal will publish a richly illustrated catalog (available in Dutch and English). The catalog devotes great attention to the life and work of Calder, as well as to the ten contemporary artists.

About the guest curators

For the realization of ‘Calder Now’, the Kunsthal collaborates with guest curators Dieter Buchhart and Anna karina hofbauer. Two authorities in the field of contemporary and modern art, Buchhart and Hofbauer have already organized many unique and successful exhibitions, for example ‘Jean-Michel Basquiat’, 2018, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; “Egon Schiele”, 2018 Fondation Louis Vuitton; ‘Keith Haring /Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines’, 2019, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. In 2015-2016, Buchhart was also guest curator of the exhibition ‘Keith Haring. The Political Line ‘at the Kunsthal which, with more than 120,000 visitors, was a resounding success.

About Kunsthal Rotterdam

Kunsthal Rotterdam is one of the leading cultural institutes of the Netherlands, located in the Museum Park in Rotterdam. Designed in 1992 by the famous architect Rem Koolhaas, the Kunsthal has seven different exhibition spaces. The Kunsthal presents a varied program of around 23 exhibitions each year. As there are always several different exhibitions to visit at any given time, the Kunsthal is able to offer an adventurous journey through different continents and artistic movements. Culture for a wide audience, from masters of modern times and contemporary art to obscure cultures, photography, fashion and design. A vast program of activities is organized to accompany the exhibitions.

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