Gagosian Paris, in collaboration with Galerie Patrick Seguin, is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Alexander Calder and by Jean Prouvé.
Calder’s invention of the mobile (a term that Marcel Duchamp coined to describe these new kinetic sculptures) resonated with both early Conceptual and Constructivist art as well as the language of early abstract painting. Flat, abstract shapes made in steel, boldly painted in a restricted primary palette, black or white, hang in perfect balance from wires. While the latent energy and dynamism of the mobiles remained of primary interest to Calder throughout his life, he also created important standing sculptures, which Jean Arp named “stabiles” to distinguish them from their ethereal kinetic counterparts. These works reject the weight and solidity of sculptural mass, yet displace space in a three-dimensional manner while remaining linear, open, planar, and suggestive of motion.
Prouvé is widely acknowledged as one of the twentieth century’s most influential industrial designers, with a wide-ranging oeuvre that brought a strong social conscience to bold, elegant design within an economy of means. A passionate teacher, engineer, and craftsman as well as a self-taught architect and designer, his career spanned more than sixty years, during which time he produced furniture for the home, office, and classroom as well as prefabricated houses, building components, and façades at Ateliers Jean Prouvé and his factory in Maxéville. Combining research, prototype development, and production, he was instrumental in ushering in building processes based on mechanized industry rather than artisanal practice.