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Jill Magid Takes a Calder Mobile for a Spin at the Whitney Museum

Magid will activate one of Calder’s standing mobile sculptures whose base and top were mismatched and separated in the 1960s.

Jill Magid, "Awaiting Alexander Calder" (2017), gif (© Jill Magid; all works by Alexander Calder © 2017 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society, ARS, New York)
Jill Magid, “Awaiting Alexander Calder” (2017), gif (© Jill Magid; all works by Alexander Calder © 2017 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society, ARS, New York)

Calder’s mobile sculptures were designed to move, and that original intent is at the core of the Whitney Museum’s current exhibition of his sculptures, Hypermobility. Each piece has a prescribed way of moving and merely needs to be activated. But one series of works, a set of five standing mobiles all originally titled “Untitled Standing Mobile” and made between 1960 and 1965, has had a somewhat jumbled history, its bases and tops mismatched and recombined with parts of other Calder sculptures.

Recently, the Calder Foundation bought one of the orphaned “Untitled Standing Mobile” sculptures at auction and entrusted it to artist Jill Magid until it can reunite the top with its corresponding base. Magid, whose interests in archives and unearthing quirky chapters in the careers of canonical modernists, seems ideally suited to be a caretaker for the incomplete Calder. On Thursday, September 28, Magid will breathe life into the sculpture, activating it in ways Calder couldn’t possibly have conceived.

Installation view of <em>Calder: Hypermobility</em> at the Whitney Museum of American Art (photo by Ron Amstutz, courtesy the Whitney Museum of American Art)
Installation view of Calder: Hypermobility at the Whitney Museum of American Art (photo by Ron Amstutz, courtesy the Whitney Museum of American Art)

When: Thursday, September 28 at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, and 5pm (free with museum admission)
Where: Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street, Meatpacking District, Manhattan)

More info here.

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