“Every Kind Of Wind Calder and the 21st Century” Exhibition

Nahmad Contemporary

poster for “Every Kind Of Wind Calder and the 21st Century” Exhibition

This event has ended.

Curated by Kelly Taxter
in collaboration with the Calder Foundation

Nahmad Contemporary presents Every Kind of Wind, Calder and the 21st Century. Organized by guest curator Kelly Taxter in collaboration with the Calder Foundation, the exhibition showcases the pioneering role Alexander Calder (1898–1976) played to carve out essential space for innovative artistic approaches and methodologies. Calder invented the mobile nearly 100 years ago. In its indeterminacy and implication of the audience in constituting the artwork, the mobile set the stage for a range of radical developments in 20th-century art that continue to unfold. Calder’s endless curiosity about sculpture’s fundamental properties—material, weight, and scale—yielded an unprecedented break with tradition that was as much about the medium as it was about perception. In one of the artist’s few statements about his work, Calder expressed that this exchange did have some boundaries, writing, “I have made a number of things for the open air: all of them react to wind, and are like a sailing vessel in that they react best to one kind of breeze. It is impossible to make a thing work with every kind of wind.”

Every Kind of Wind, Calder and the 21st Century will show the importance and breadth of the artist’s practice with a selection of early wire sculptures and standing and hanging mobiles made throughout his career. Calder’s works will be presented in dialogue with five internationally based artists working today—Davide Balula, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Libby Heaney, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, and Analisa Teachworth—who are influenced by the myriad ecological, social, and political forces shaping the contemporary moment. Like Calder, whose innovations in the 1920s and 1930s overturned traditional boundaries, these contemporary artists not only privilege and embrace the possible but also elucidate the furthest edges of art-making by imagining the seemingly impossible.

Balula, Brathwaite-Shirley, Heaney, Steensen, and Teachworth engage virtual reality, artificial intelligence, gaming, deep listening, and even the nascent arena of quantum computing to create new art forms. They turn a critical eye on these platforms, striving to deepen and complicate their intrinsically interactive natures, underscoring how dependent new technologies still are on human intelligence while highlighting new and emergent forms of nonhuman sentience. Creating a dialogue between Calder’s work and the art of today, the exhibition reveals how the distinction between artist and viewer has become even more porous. It illuminates how the possibilities for human, interspecies, and machine collaborations have expanded, suggesting that much can be gained—and changed—with collective force.

Every Kind of Wind, Calder and the 21st Century is designed by Selldorf Architects and will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring new scholarship.



from November 03, 2022 to January 28, 2023

Opening Reception on 2022-11-03 from 18:00 to 20:00

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