Alexander Calder / David Smith

10 June - 16 September 2017


To coincide with Art Basel 2017, Hauser & Wirth Zürich presents an exhibition uniting two great figures of 20th- century American sculpture: Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976) and David Smith (1906 – 1965). Realised in close collaboration with both the Calder Foundation and The Estate of David Smith, ‘Alexander Calder / David Smith’ explores the artists’ mutual resolution to test the limitations of traditional sculpture and redefine the parameters of abstraction in three dimensions. More than the simplified conceptions of the artists – Calder, the ingenious extrovert who commanded the Parisian avant-garde and set the simplicity of abstraction in motion; and Smith, the man of iron isolated on a mountain top, a constructor of enigmatic, wildly diverse ciphers who gave three-dimensional form to the Abstract Expressionist generation – the exhibition, enriched by the dialogue between these two modern masters, sheds light on the deeper complexities of their achievements. The presentation spotlights both intimate and large-scale works across four decades and illuminates how, over the course of their careers, both artists asked many of the same questions that challenged the assumptions of what sculpture could be, but answered them with wildly different solutions in pursuit of their own personal aesthetic identities.

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About the Artists

Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder was born in 1898, the second child of artist parents—his father was a sculptor and his mother a painter. In his mid-twenties, Calder moved to New York City, where he studied at the Art Students League and worked at the ‘National Police Gazette,’ illustrating sporting events and the...

David Smith

David Smith is regarded as one of the most innovative artists and important American sculptors of the 20th century. He transformed sculpture by rejecting the traditional methods of carving and casting in favor of torch-cutting and welding, becoming the first artist known to make welded sculpture in America. These...

Current Exhibitions