by Marie-Lys D. 

This first
Sunday of July in Paris is to my liking. The City is quiet and turned over to
lovers of “promenade” and discovery. The weather is ideal, sunny and not too
hot. We have decided this morning to visit the Calder exhibition that runs until
July 20th at the Centre Georges Pompidou located in the very heart
of Paris. We leave early as we want to take our breakfast – the traditional
café and croissants – at the Café Dame Tartine while enjoying the view on the
Stravinsky fountain created by Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle to make water
“sing” as it moves.

The line
to get in is rather impressive and we are not very found of queuing. This long
line is composed of Calder’s lovers. It is also the opportunity of benefitting from
free museum admission on the first Sunday of the month. Luckily we knew that
just at the opposite end of the museum there is another entrance that few know
about. Well done! Within 5 minutes, we are inside.

We take
the escalators up to the top of the building to where the exhibition takes
place. We have found our youthful souls, full of admiration at the
extraordinary Parisian views that unfold as we rise. Look, here on the hill at
our right is Montmartre with its big white church and on our left the Eiffel

As we
enter the exhibition, the true enchantment begins. We knew about Calder’s giant
mobiles and aircraft and had the opportunity to view the fabulous film with his
magic circus from years back, but we had never seen his works dating from the his
Parisian period from 1926 to 1933. We are under his spell.

If you are
in Paris, run to see the Calder
exhibition. You’ll leave full of dreams. Calder is a true magician.

Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was one of the most
notable of twentieth-century sculptors. Born in the United States, the son and
grandson of sculptors, he produced toys even as a child. Calder first trained
as an engineer and then as an artist but his real career bean on his arrival in
Paris in 1926. In just a few years, he would reinvent sculptures as “drawing
space” introducing a new abstraction. Between 1926 and 1931, he constructed his
unique Calder Circus, a piece that includes hundreds of small figures made from
recycled materials, animated by simple mechanisms. His rapid artistic
development saw him reject traditional techniques to develop a sculpture in
wire, linear, massless and mobile. After 1930, influenced by Mondrian’s
geometrical abstraction, he made kinetic sculptures whose metallic lines are
punctuated by elements of pure colour. His last Paris sculptures, in 1933 – the
suspended mobiles, slowly turning in space and wooden pieces of primitivist
inspiration to the cosmic of a poetic body of work.

With more than 300 sculptures, paintings, drawings,
toys, photographs and films, this exhibition takes place in two galleries
(Galerie 2, level 6 and Galerie du Musée Level 4) is the first to be wholly
devoted to Calder’s years in Paris. (Source: Centre Georges Pompidou).

Centre Georges Pompidou

Up to July 20th, 2009

Galerie 2, level 6 & Galerie du Musée, level 4

11 am-9pm
everyday ex. Tuesdays.

office closes at 8pm

opening until 11pm

Galerie 2 only

office closes at 10pm

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