Monday, December 07, 2009

Calder & Michelangelo at SAM

Sunday Dean and I went to see the Michelangelo & Calder exhibits at SAM. I really liked the Calder pieces: huge hanging (or standing) mobiles, made from metal, wire, wood, paint (the exhibits states that he "invented" the mobile as an art form. Really?). I had seen Calder's work in art books and photos, but was always left a little cold by them. Seeing them in person was a completely different experience. They were surprisingly fluid and alive and playful. You walk by one of them and just the change in air current might make part of the mobile shift ever so slightly, or you could just blow a breath at them and these large hanging mobiles would slowly begin to turn slightly, or sway, or a distant piece would slowly get the transmitted energy, and begin to move as well, as if the entire thing were alive, or had a nervous system and an articulate skeleton. It was so beautiful.

Much better than the Michelangelo pieces, which --I'm sorry-- just seemed so overly religious, and inexorable, and dark, and depressing. The figures all looked like they were feeling the tug of sin and/or gravity so heavily, and their faces and eyes looked like they needed a big dose of Prozac.


Oliver de la Paz said...

Ooh! I need to catch that exhibit! Thanks for the heads-up!

T. Clear said...

I had a similar experience when looking at Jackson Pollack's work at the Modern in NYC....they were so powerfully emotional, I began to cry, which was a complete surprise!

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