• Alexander Calder. Red Maze III, 1954. Sheet metal, wire, and paint, 56 x 72 inches (142.2 x 182.9 cm). © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Calder Foundation, New York.

Calder / KellyExhibition

Calder / Kelly

Lévy Gorvy is pleased to present Calder / Kelly, the first major exhibition exploring the visual and personal affinities between landmark American artists Alexander Calder and Ellsworth Kelly. Presented in collaboration with the Calder Foundation and Ellsworth Kelly Studio, the exhibition is a discourse between generations that celebrates the artists’ friendship and their extraordinary experiences as Americans who were shaped by significant periods of time spent living in Paris.

Over the three floors of Lévy Gorvy’s building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a dynamic exchange between two virtuosic talents will take shape. Animated by the tension between figuration and abstraction, the works on view suggest intriguing intersections, including the striking repartee between two- and three-dimensionality (which, in Calder’s case, extends to four-dimensionality) that is a notable element of each artist’s oeuvre. Comprising approximately three dozen paintings and sculptures made over a fifty-year period, Calder’s mobile Red Maze III (1954) and his stabile Black Beast (1940), and Kelly’s paintings Red White (1962) and Three Gray Panels (1987) will be among the works on view.

The aesthetic dialogue between Calder and Kelly extends through an attendant display of art directly exchanged as gestures of friendship and mutual artistic rapport. Letters and other documents illuminate a relationship where creativity and high personal regard were beautifully intertwined.

On view through January 9, the exhibition will be followed by the publication of a fully illustrated catalogue, featuring texts by Calder biographer Jed Perl, curator Veronica Roberts, and philosopher Robert Hopkins, while Simon Perchik, Forrest Gander, and Dan Chiasson will contribute poems inspired by the artists.

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Selected Works

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  • Alexander Calder.
    Black Beast,
    1940.
    Sheet metal, bolts, and paint,
    103 x 163 x 78 1/2 inches (261.6 x 414 x 199.4 cm).
    © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
    Photo: Ken Adlard © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York.
    Courtesy Calder Foundation, New York.

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  • Ellsworth Kelly.
    White Cross,
    1959.
    Oil on linen,
    17 x 20 inches (43.2 x 50.8 cm).
    © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.
    Photo: Ronald Amstut.
    Courtesy Ellsworth Kelly Studio.

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  • Alexander Calder.
    Red Maze III,
    1954.
    Sheet metal, wire, and paint,
    56 x 72 inches (142.2 x 182.9 cm).
    © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
    Courtesy Calder Foundation, New York.

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  • Ellsworth Kelly.
    Palisade Study,
    1959.
    Oil on canvas,
    26 x 22 inches (66 x 55.9 cm).
    © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.
    Photo: Ronald Amstut.
    Courtesy Ellsworth Kelly Studio.

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  • Alexander Calder.
    Red-Eyed Dragon,
    1950.
    Sheet metal, wire, and paint,
    20 x 26 x 4 inches (50.8 x 66 x 10.2 cm).
    © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
    Courtesy Calder Foundation, New York.

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  • Ellsworth Kelly.
    Red White,
    1962.
    Oil on canvas,
    83 1/2 x 67 inches (212.1 x 170.2 cm).
    © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.
    Photo: Katherine Du Tiel.
    Courtesy San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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  • Ellsworth Kelly.
    Three Gray Panels,
    1987.
    Oil on canvas,
    114 x 412 inches (289.6 x 1046.5 cm).
    © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.
    Photo: Jerry L. Thompson.
    Courtesy Ellsworth Kelly Studio.

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  • Alexander Calder.
    Untitled,
    c. 1944.
    Oil on plywood with wood,
    18 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches (47.6 x 21 cm).
    © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
    Courtesy Calder Foundation, New York.

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  • Ellsworth Kelly.
    Black Blue,
    1959.
    Oil on canvas,
    30 1/4 x 24 1/8 inches (76.8 x 61.3 cm).
    © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.
    Photo: Ronald Amstut.
    Courtesy Ellsworth Kelly Studio.

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  • Ellsworth Kelly.
    Charmettes I,
    1956.
    Oil on canvas,
    24 x 16 inches (61 x 40.6 cm).
    © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.
    Photo: Ronald Amstut.
    Courtesy Calder Foundation, New York.

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Video

Calder / Kelly

November 6, 2018

Selected Press

Blouin Artinfo | Top Art Shows in New York This Week: Stuart Davis to Sarah Lucas

November 10, 2018

It's a busy week in the arts in New York November 9–15, with major shows and some smaller gems glittering …

Galleries Now | Calder / Kelly

November 9, 2018

Lévy Gorvy presents Calder / Kelly, the first major exhibition exploring the visual and personal affinities …

The New York Times T Magazine | A Rare Look at the Letters Between Two Art World Giants

November 9, 2018

How is art shaped by friendship? The exhibition “Calder / Kelly,” which is now open at the Lévy …

Ansa | Calder e Kelly, arte e amicizia a NY

November 8, 2018

"Dear Kelly", "Dear Calder". Nella storia dell'arte del Novecento, nessun "bromance" e' stato artisticamente …

Artnet | Art Industry News: Houston Museum Discovers It Has a Velázquez Painting Hiding in Plain Sight + Other Stories

November 8, 2018

Inside Ellsworth Kelly and Alexander Calder’s Friendship – despite being decades apart in age, the …

Vulture | Did You Know Ellsworth Kelly and Alexander Calder Were Pals? They Even Exchanged Art Gifts.

November 7, 2018

Ellsworth Kelly was studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris just after World War II when he met....

Robb Report | The Kelly-Calder Connection – Abstract Allies

November 7, 2018

No Bromance has been more artistically fruitful than that of Alexander Calder and Ellsworth Kelly. For …

Galerie Magazine | Editors’ Picks: 4 Great Art and Design Events This Week

November 1, 2018

This is the first major exhibition to explore the friendship and shared aesthetic of Alexander Calder …

GothamToGo | 63 Art Installations, Exhibits & Events Not to Miss in November, 2018

October 31, 2018

Lévy Gorvy is pleased to present Calder / Kelly, the first major exhibition exploring the visual and …

Luxurious Prototype | Calder / Kelly Exhibit to Open at Lévy Gorvy's Gallery

October 31, 2018

Beginning November 9, 2018, Lévy Gorvy will present Calder / Kelly, the first major exhibition to explore …