More than 25 of Calder’s famous mobiles are to be installed on the ground of London’s Pace Gallery this month, as part of a major exhibition of works created by the artist between 1945 and 1949.

I am always excited to see Calder’s mobiles for they are so majestic, whimsical and mirthful. They always take me back to the magical Fondation Maeght in St Paul de Vence in the hills looking over Nice and Cannes where I have ‘religiously’ been going every summer for the last 10 years or so on what I call my pèlegrinage culturel et spirituel  (see my two holiday snaps below). But more of that in a future post…

Alexander Calder, one of the most acclaimed and influential scupltors of the 20th C, was inspired to begin creating the abstract kinetic constructions after a visit to Piet Mondrian’s studio (see my previous post a few days ago, Stylish de Stilj) in 1930, inventing a new art form termed the “mobile” by Marcel Duchamp (currently featuring in the Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns exhibition at the Barbican).

His work was interrupted during the war years when sheet aluminium was at a shortage, but he returnd to it with gusto in 1945.

The exhibition includes masterpieces such as Baby Flat Top (1946), Little Parasite (1947) and the Blue Feather (c.1948), insralled on the gallery’s ground floor, while the newly renovated first floor will host more than 20 rarely-seen paintings and gouaches made by Calder during the same period.

Calder After the War is at Pace London, 6 Burlington Gardens from April 19-June 7. I hope you go and have a look next time you are around Piccadilly or Old Bond Street.

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Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) , the Dutch artist, is the most renowned artist to propagate the art form of De Stijl, commonly known as Neo-Plasticism, an artistic movement which proposed ultimate simplicity and abstraction, both in architecture and painting, by using only straight horizontal and vertical lines and rectangular forms. Their formal vocabulary was limited mostly to the primary colours, red, yellow, and blue, and to a grid of black vertical and horizontal lines on a white ground. The works avoided symmetry and attained aesthetic balance by the use of opposition. See below how influential its tenets and visuals have been and still are even today

Post-script – 11/04/13. Did you see the article in the Homes & Property section of the Evening Standard on 10/04/13  showing a Mondrian-esque inspired and designed kids’ bedroom? Just saying…


L’Arbre de Matisse is heralded as one of the most iconic fabrics of the 20th C and is still very much en vogue these days. Everytime I see it featured in a magazine or upholstered, it looks as modern and fresh as when it was invented in the 1960s. Billy Baldwin, the legendary American decorator,

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