Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy @ MCA

By Ben Schuman Stoler in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 25, 2010 4:30PM

20100625_Calder.jpg
Alexander Calder. Performing Seal, 1950. Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Leonard and Ruth Horwich Family Loan. © 2010 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Well now, this is exciting. Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy opens tomorrow at The Museum of Contemporary Art. One half of the first floor, bereft of wall dividers, is now one large space fillllllled with Alexander Calder sculptures, mobiles, and stabiles. The other half of the first floor has works by artists - Martin Boyce, Nathan Carter, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Aaron Curry, Kristi Lippire, Jason Meadows, and Jason Middlebrook - inspired by Calder.

Unless you were raised by wolves, you probably spent many a formative hour developing brain cells while watching a mobile spin around above your little baby crib. You can thank Calder for all that, and his import in contemporary art as well as in cities can hardly be overstated. Chicago has the Flamingo among others to be thankful for - MCA has a neat map of the Calders in Chicago here - and, actually, two of Calder's first American shows were in Chicago. So this exhibition builds on the Calder-Chicago connection, but more than anything else it's a great opportunity to see a swath of his works in one space.

MCA has a good overview of the exhibition online already, and the show will run from tomorrow until October 17. For a photo preview, check out Paul Klein.