Peak season: Alexander Calder sculptures reach new heights in the Swiss Alps

Peak season: Alexander Calder sculptures reach new heights in the Swiss Alps

From Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building in New York to an open-air museum in Japan, the works of American sculptor Alexander Calder have been displayed in a number of remarkable locations across the globe. Now, the Swiss Alps can be added to that list, as Hauser & Wirth brings together six monumental sculptures from the 1960s and 70s for an outdoor exhibition in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Calder’s works have been erected throughout the well-heeled alpine town, popping up in public locations including Saanen’s church and Lake Lauenen. His dynamic stabiles come to life against the backdrop of towering mountains and verdant forests. The unusually curvaceous Tripes (1974) writhes along the promenade while elsewhere, 3 flèches blanches (1965), the only mobile in the show, holds court at Le Grand Bellevue hotel.

The al fresco alpine romp harks back to Hauser & Wirth’s very first exhibition in 1992, which brought together Calder’s mobiles and gouaches with the sculptures and paintings of his lifelong friend Joan Miró. Gallerists Iwan and Manuela Wirth, in collaboration with the Calder Foundation, leaped at the chance to bring these works from the artist’s oeuvre to Switzerland for the first time.

Calder Foundation president Alexander SC Rower says, ‘My grandfather reset the traditional relationship between volume and void with his monumental sculptures. Installed against the mountainous backdrop of Gstaad, these works will surely surprise viewers as they harmonise in unpredictable ways with their surroundings.’ This summer celebration of Calder continues at the other end of Switzerland, where the Fondation Beyeler in Basel is hosting a joint exhibition of Calder and Fischli/Weiss works.

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