Our new online show in collaboration with artsy.net explores the creative synergy between two of the 20th Century artistic giants. The intense friendship forged between Joan Miro and Alexander Calder in Paris in 1928 continued throughout their lives. Though emerging in very different contexts — Miró was a taciturn Catalan born in Barcelona in 1893, Calder a gregarious American born in Pennsylvania in 1898, yet their remarkably similar artistic sensibilities revolutionised their respective mediums of painting and sculpture.
'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
Both artists have an impish quality, a sense of play, and a love of colour and adventure in their works. They often also often have a similar look and feel, particularly in their respective cosmic, constellation series made both side of the Atlantic and in complete isolation from one another, during the war. Sharing a similar vision and fascination with cosmological relationships, the two artists purged the last remnants of illusionism from their respective mediums by taking line and colour into previously uncharted territories.
‘Sandy, the man, the friend, has a heart as big as Niagara. Calder, the artist, has the force of the ocean. I salute you, Sandy.’
— Joan Miró
Alexander Calder was best known for his works that focus on form, balance and movement. His famous mobiles are playful as they hang in the air oscillating. Inspired by the cosmos. His works evoke the feeling of vastness and moving systems infused with colour and air.
In later life both Miro and Calder embraced printmaking and produced many series of works with their shared Paris gallery, Maeght, which we have for sale in our Modern-Originals collection.
Alexander Calder’s grandson, Sandy Rower said of the relationship between the two great artists:
‘They understand each other from the first moment. There was a great resonance between them… In many ways they were wildly different. In their constellations works Caro’s work is not an external exposition of emotion… it is more so a channel for dealing with the subject of what is the energetic force that binds all things – whereas Miro’s paintings are a way of presenting the intensity of human love…”
See our show online here until December 31st.