Seeing Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture at Tate Modern

While in London for the low residency I had a spare day before it started. I used this opportunity to visit Tate Modern and see Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture.



Inside there were the large kinetic sculptures (or “mobiles” as they were christened by Marcel Duchamp) that are always associated with him, and the miniature circus performers that are less well known.

Some of the pieces were fragile and could not be animated, so a nearby (and perhaps too small!) video display showed them in operation.

Unfortunately the expo was “no photography,” which is a shame as it would have been nice to record the positioning of the pieces, and the interesting shadows that were made due to the way they were illuminated.


The small booklet that accompanied the exposition, however, contained all the text from introductory panels in each room, and a few (color) images of the major piece therein. The booklet was small — A6 portrait — and not saddle-stitched but concertina-folded, which made it somewhat difficult to handle in a crowded gallery space.


The book to accompany the exposition — ISBN 978-1849763448 — is exquisite and its nice to see its available in both hardcover and paperback.

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