Two Friends: Miró & Calder


Well, the archaeologist will tell you there's a little bit of Miró in Calder and a little bit of Calder in Miró.  – Alexander Calder


August 5th from 11h – 18h

Knokke - Zeedijk


The gallery is pleased to announce a special tandem exhibition devoted to two modernist giants – Alexander Calder and Joan Miró. Taking place from July 22 to August 31, 2023 at their seaside gallery space at Zeedijk 759 in Knokke, the exhibition presents 39 works consisting of paintings, drawings, engravings, collages, and bronze sculptures by the American and Spanish artists, who had forged one of the most important artistic dialogues in the 20th century.


When Calder and Miró met each other between the two great wars in Paris in the late 1920s, the stars were aligned. The two found each other amidst the creative circles dominated by the likes of Braque, Dali, and Picasso, where many new ideas were exchanged. Though the rise of fascism forced them to leave Paris to their home countries, the two artists remained in contact, influencing, and exhibiting together until Calder’s death in 1976. Their combined interest in the cosmos and illusionary worlds took abstraction to new heights: this exhibition reveals these thematic commonalities, consisting of weightless organic forms, a penchant for pure colours, and fluous lines. This is most evident in their works on paper, both artists revealing their predilection for the stream of consciousness; dream-like compositions that nod to celestial symbolism. Miró's dreamlike and imaginative approach to art found resonance in Calder's ability to capture movement and transform space with his mobiles and stabiles, as well as his paintings and drawings.


Alexander Calder (b. Lawnton, PA in 1898) initially studied mechanical engineering but eventually shifted his focus to art. Calder's mobiles were a groundbreaking departure from traditional static sculptures composed of suspended elements that delicately balanced and moved in response to air currents, introducing a dynamic, ever-changing dimension to the art form. Calder also created stabiles, large-scale stationary sculptures of geometric shapes. His ability to imbue inanimate objects with a sense of vitality and movement was a defining aspect of his work. He received numerous accolades, including the prestigious Grand Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1952, marking the first time a sculptor had been honoured with this award. Today, Calder's works can be found in several prestigious museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, among many others. Calder died in New York, NY in 1976.


Joan Miró (b. Barcelona, Spain in 1893) was influenced by the Fauves and Cubists early in his artistic career, though his style continuously evolved. After moving to Paris, he became associated with Surrealism even though he maintained a unique and personal approach. He embraced experimentation, pushing the boundaries of traditional art forms that resulted in a rich, varied body of work. His artistic contributions extended beyond the canvas and was involved in theatre productions and costume, and later created public sculptures that can be found in cities around the world. Miró received the Grand Prize for Graphic Work at the 1954 Venice Biennale, and his work is collected by major institutions including the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, and the Tate Modern in London. Miró died in Palma, Spain in 1983.


A public opening will take place on August 5th on the weekend of La Nuit du Zoute, from 11:00 – 18:00 at Zeedijk 759, Knokke.

All images copyright of Calder Foundation and Successió Miró © ADAGP 

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