January 11, 2009

Calder P.S.

If you followed my suggestion and visited the marvelous exhibition "Alexander Calder - The Paris Years 1926-1933" (see my December 2008 blog "Finding Your Inner Child at Christmas"), you'll be happy to hear about another show just a short walk away at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

While the Whitney looks at Calder's early works, particularly his wire sculpture portraits and circus characters, (before evolving into more monumental mobiles and stabiles), "Calder Jewelry" focus' exclusively on the artist's exploration of jewelry as an art form. Created mostly as gifts for his wife Louisa and various patrons and friends, these bracelets, earrings, necklaces, brooches and the occasional tiara, are miniature, wearable metal sculptures as much as they are ornamentation. Fashioned of brass, silver or gold, and sometimes embellished with a piece of glass or another objects, the works range from diminutive and delicate to armor-like and impressive. All are definitely Calder in style and feel and each is a treasure.

Alexander Calder (1898-1976) produced over 1,800 pieces of jewelry in his lifetime. 50 of them are presented here and will remain on view until March 1, 2009.

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