January 17, 2009

Calder Jewelry at the Metropolitan Museum



Now through March 1 the Metropolitan Museum of Art is viewing jewelry made by the famed sculpture and inventor of the mobile Alexander Calder.

I actually had no idea Calder made jewelry and loved to see his signature style played out in beautiful bold and often kinetic jewelry. Mostly using brass, steel or silver he cut, hammered and wrapped large abstract shapes to create jewelry that was often extremely oversized - like this piece to the left - with points of articulation to allow the whole thing to rest on different body types and move with the wearer. Some of the smaller brooches and earrings showed more of a direct relationship with his larger mobile scupltures - being built using the same type of structural elements. Some of the pieces on display here incorporated found objects like broken glass and ceramics into colorful the necklaces and rings, using heavy wire.

For more Calder work - you can also head over to The Whitney Museum of American Art where Calder's early work in Paris from 1926 to 1933 is on view until February 15. In these early years his forays into sculpture were more about breaking down forms into wire drawings best represented by his circus series (which is in the permanent collection of the Whitney). This initial breaking down of forms soon became fully developed abstraction paired with a focus on structure and movement that his engineering degree gave him. His early work is a great starting point to see how he later developed these themes of of movement and structure into fully kinetic mobiles.

6 comments:

Sayo said...

Oh I'm so excited! I hadn't heard about this. I just got the Calder Jewelry book for my birthday in November and my boyfriend took me to the Whitney show too. (I had a very Calder birthday) Thanks for letting us know about the Met! I can't wait to go!

Simone said...

Interesting. I've been meaning to go to the Met for a while. . .

KimmChi said...

I just love Calder - talk about someone who just couldn't stop making stuff.

deaf dog! said...

I'm so glad this was featured, I'm so bad about keeping track of incoming shows.

Ikyoto said...

I've been treating my "soul flu" (my new name for the winter doldrums) by going to exhibitions. This will be a great motivator to get out of bed in the morning.

ladylulu said...

Thanks for sharing this! I am both a Met member and a Calder fan!