The Surreal Calder

March 3–May 21, 2006

Living and working in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, Alexander Calder was naturally influenced by the burgeoning surrealist movement, and some of its most prominent voices — including Joan Miró, André Breton, and Jean Arp — became his close friends and associates. In recent decades, however, Calder’s relationship with Surrealism has been all but forgotten. Presenting rarely seen pieces from the Calder Foundation as well as a sampling of works by Calder’s surrealist peers, this exhibition recasts the artist and his work in their original context. The resulting showcase highlights the wit, inventiveness, and improvisation at the heart of Calder’s art and rooted in the legacy of Surrealism.

The Surreal Calder is organized by The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas, and is generously supported in part by The Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation, Anita and Mike Stude, an anonymous donor in honor of Elsian Cozens, Mary and Roy Cullen, and Mrs. Nancy C. Allen. Additional support is provided by The Cullen Foundation, Fayez Sarofim & Co., George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, Houston Endowment Inc., The Wortham Foundation, and the City of Houston. The San Francisco presentation is supported by the Koret Foundation Funds, The Bernard Osher Foundation, Helen and Charles Schwab, the Estate of Ann Hall, and Daniel G. Volkmann Jr.

Koret Foundation Funds

Reproduction, including downloading of images of Alexander Calder’s works, is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Alexander Calder at work on Tightrope, New York studio, 1936; courtesy Calder Foundation, New York; photo: Herbert Matter