Alexander Calder: MULTUM IN PARVOExhibition

Alexander Calder: MULTUM IN PARVO

Dominique Lévy is pleased to present Alexander Calder: MULTUM IN PARVO, an exhibition of over forty rare small-scale sculptures by an American master, installed in an environment conceived for them by the architects Santiago and Gabriel 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 thirty 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 thirty years. The show includes one of his smallest sculptures from the 1950s that measures just over one inch high—a miracle of miniature.

MULTUM IN PARVO presents Calder’s small sculptures in an environment conceived by internationally admired architect Santiago Calatrava. Unfolding over the gallery’s two exhibition floors, Calatrava’s design honors the beauty and delicacy of Calder’s smaller sculptures, and seeks to bring visitors into close contact with the tiniest details and gestures that give these works their magic.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring archival material, installation photography, and original sketches by Santiago Calatrava that reveal the architectural process in response to Calder’s ideas and work. The book also includes commissioned essays by Jed Perl, art historian and author currently at work on the first full-length biography of Alexander Calder, and Paul Goldberger, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic, as well as poems by Karl Shapiro and John Updike.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Alexander Calder (1898–1976) utilized his innovative genius to profoundly change the course of modern art. Born in a family of celebrated, though more classically trained artists, he began by developing a new method of sculpting: by bending and twisting wire, he essentially "drew" three-dimensional figures in space. He is renowned for the invention of the mobile, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony. Coined by Marcel Duchamp in 1931, the word mobile refers to both “motion” and “motive” in French. The earliest mobiles moved by a system of cranks and motors, although these mechanics were virtually abandoned as Calder developed mobiles that responded to air currents, light, humidity, and human interaction. He also created stationary abstract works that Jean Arp dubbed stabiles. Major retrospectives of Calder's work during his lifetime were held at the George Walter Vincent Smith Gallery, Springfield, Massachusetts (1938); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1943–44); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1964–65); The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1964); Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris (1965); Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France (1969); and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1976–77). Calder died in New York in 1976 at the age of seventy-eight.

ABOUT THE ARCHITECTS
Santiago Calatrava was born in 1951 in Valencia, Spain. With degrees in architecture and civil engineering, he has become an international leader in urban design since opening his first office in Zürich in 1981. Over the next thirty-five years he has opened additional offices in Paris and New York, and completed major commissions in Argentina, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Spain, The Netherlands and the United States, among others. An architect, engineer, and artist, in 2005 an exhibition of his work was mounted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York titled Santiago Calatrava: Sculpture into Architecture. In 2011 a joint work created with Frank Stella was exhibited at Berlin’s New National Gallery. Stella painted the 98-foot-long mural, The Michael Kohlaas Curtain, which was installed on the inside of a torus-shaped steel sculpture constructed by Calatrava and suspended from the ceiling of the iconic Mies Van der Rohe building. Calatrava was named a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum in 1993, and one of the 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in 2005.

Gabriel Calatrava works with internationally acclaimed architecture and engineering firm, Santiago Calatrava. Noted for iconic white cantilevered bridges, Calatrava's structures gracefully transform and give new life to the urban landscapes in which they are built across the globe. A citizen of the world, Gabriel has studied both engineering and architecture in New York at Columbia University.

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Selected Works

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  • Haverford Variation
    c.1944
    Sheet metal, wire, and paint
    31 x 18 x 12 inches (78.8 x 45.7 x 30.5 cm)
    © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Photo: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc. Courtesy: Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York

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  • Untitled
    1947
    Sheet metal, wire, and paint
    27 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 9 inches (69.9 x 69.9 x 22.9 cm)
    © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Photo: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc. Courtesy: Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York

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  • Red Toadstool
    1949
    Sheet metal, wire, paint
    21 x 16 x 8 inches (53.3 x 40.6 x 20.3 cm)
    © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Photo: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc. Courtesy: Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York

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  • Eight Black Dots
    c. 1950
    Sheet metal, wire, paint
    15 x 12 x 5 inches (38.1 x 30.5 x 12.7 cm)
    © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Photo: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc. Courtesy: Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York

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  • Untitled
    c. 1952
    Painted sheet metal, wire, and brass
    13 3/8 x 11 13/16 x 4 3/4 inches (34 x 30 x 12 cm)
    © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Photo: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc. Courtesy: Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York

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  • Cafritz Fountain [maquette]
    1966
    Sheet metal and paint
    8 x 9 1/2 x 7 inches (20.3 x 24.1 x 17.8 cm)
    © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Photo: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc. Courtesy: Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York

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  • Untitled
    c. 1934
    Brass wire, glass, buttons, and string
    27 1/2 inches (69.9 cm)
    © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Photo: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc. Courtesy: Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York

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  • Untitled
    c. 1942
    Sheet metal, wire, and paint
    13 1/2 x 8 x 6 inches (34.3 x 20.3 x 15.2 cm)
    © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Photo: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc. Courtesy: Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York

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  • Untitled
    c. 1947
    Sheet metal, wire, and paint
    10 x 15 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches (25.4 x 39.4 x 7 cm)
    © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Photo: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc. Courtesy: Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York

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  • Caged Stone and Fourteen Dots
    c.1948
    Sheet metal, wire, stone, rod, and paint
    36 1/2 x 34 x 10 inches (92.7 x 86.4 x 25.4 cm)
    © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Photo: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc. Courtesy: Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York

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Video

Alexander Calder: MULTUM IN PARVO at Dominique Lévy New York

March 22, 2017

April 22 – June 13, 2015
Dominique Lévy presented Alexander Calder: MULTUM IN PARVO, an exhibition of over forty rare small-scale sculptures by an American master, installed in an environment conceived for them by the architects Santiago and Gabriel Calatrava.

Publications

Selected Press

Artforum | Alexander Calder

September 1, 2015

Once Alexander Calder’s sculptures began to be sited in Boston; Paris; Spoleto; Italy; Mexico City; …

Modern Painters | Reviews in Brief: New York - Alexander Calder

July 1, 2015

“Multum in Parvo” proves that Calder’s compositions are elegant and commanding even at a miniature …

The New York Times | Review: Alexander Calder’s Intimate, Encompassing ‘Multum in Parvo’

June 4, 2015

If you require further proof of the greatness of Alexander Calder, this exceptional show should do …

Modern Decoration | Alexander Calder: Multum in Parvo

June 1, 2015

Dominique Lévy is pleased to present Alexander Calder: MULTUM IN PARVO, an exhibition of …

Cultured | Poetry in Motion

May 12, 2015

It’s a perfectly unexpected pairing. Santiago Calatrava, he of fantastical bridges and billowing …

Interior Design | a matter of perspective

May 2, 2015

“All my life I have cultivated the sketch. I do it every day, sometimes in charcoal, sometimes in …

WNYC | Calder's Tiny Mobiles, Presented by a Flashy Architect

April 25, 2015

The architect behind grand projects—  including a controversial transit hub 10 years in the making …

Wallpaper | Small Fortunes: Alexander Calder's miniature marvels on display at Dominique Lévy gallery

April 23, 2015

Alexander Calder’s aerodynamic mobiles and monumental stabiles may be well-known fodder to modern …

Art in America | Alexander Calder. MULTUM IN PARVO

April 23, 2015

In 1948, on the occasion of his wife’s 43rd birthday, Alexander Calder presented Louisa with a cigar …

T Magazine | A New Exhibition Examines Alexander Calder

April 22, 2015

Opening today at Dominique Lévy in Manhattan, “Alexander Calder: Multum in Parvo” displays more …

art critical | Pas de Deux: Calder and Calatrava on Madison Avenue

April 21, 2015

Dominique Lévy has opened a jewel of a show of Alexander Calder in her Madison Avenue gallery. But …

Artnet | See Rare, Mesmerizing Alexander Calder Sculptures at Dominique Lévy

April 21, 2015

“Intimacy” is not a word that first comes to mind when thinking about Alexander Calder‘s steel …

FT HOW TO SPEND IT | Calder and Calatrava at Dominique Lévy

April 15, 2015

New York gallerist Dominique Lévy’s new Alexander Calder show Multum in Parvo, opening …

Wall Street International Magazine | Alexander Calder. MULTUM IN PARVO

April 2, 2015

Beginning April 22nd, Dominique Lévy is pleased to present Alexander Calder. MULTUM IN PARVO, an …

Architectural Digest | Small, intricate pieces by Alexander Calder on display at a New York exhibition

March 31, 2015

For many people, the name Alexander Calder brings to mind large mobiles and monumental red steel sculptures …