Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tuesdays with Art - Kinetic Sculpture (Rhoades)

Not Art Films, But Films About Art

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

I have two colorful lithographs by Alexander Calder hanging in my family room amid an array of Haitian paintings. It’s amazing how well these pieces of modern art blend with the primary colors of those primitive paintings.

Of course, Calder is better known for his kinetic sculptures, particularly mobiles and other things that dingle-dangle in the name of art.

But don’t take my word for it. Go see “Kinetic Sculpture,” a pair of films about Alexander Calder that are playing this coming Tuesday at the Tropic Cinema. This is the first session of “Tuesdays With Art,” a six-month series of movies about notable artists.

Sponsored by the Key West Film Society, these films will be shown on the first Tuesday of the month through May 5, 2009. These movies start at 5:30 p.m., followed by a lively discussion about the movie and the artist, concluding with an informal social hour in the lobby of The Tropic.

Admission is free and open to the public.

The December 2 session features two films that cover Cirque Calder (“Calder’s Circus”) in the late ’20s, his invention of the mobile in the early ’30s, and his later creation of stabiles.
In addition to kinetic sculptures, Calder created toys, tapestries, jewelry, paintings, even carpets.
Known to his friends as “Sandy,” he represented the third generation of sculptors in his family, each of them named Alexander Calder.

Receiving a degree in 1919 from Stevens Institute of Technology, he worked in a number of engineering jobs before deciding to apply his drafting and hydraulics skills to art.
His public works became famous. His monumental stabile “La Grande Vitesse,” located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the first public work of art in the United States to be funded with federal monies.

His WTC Stabile (also known as “The Cockeyed Propeller”) that stood in front of 7 World Trade Center was destroyed during the 9/11 attack.

In 2003, nearly 30 years after his death, one of his sculptures was sold for $5.2 million at a Christie's auction in New York.

See, there will be lots to talk about after the movie.

[from Solares Hill]

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