Pulitzer Reopening Sneak Peek: 'Calder Lightness'

By Krystin Arneson
In Culture

As you can tell, we’re looking forward to the Pulitzer’s re-opening on Friday (see yesterday’s overview blog post), which debuts three exhibitions: “Calder Lightness”, “Fred Sandback” and “Richard Tuttle.” The space’s two new galleries mean that the Pulitzer can now have multiple shows at once, and each strips down art to the notion of the line: the beginning point for artwork, and also an inadvertent nod to the beginning of the new Pulitzer. We talked to Pulitzer curator Tamara Schenkenberg to get the inside scoop on what to see.

Alexander Calder's "Mobile," courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Alexander Calder’s “Mobile,” courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

“Calder Lightness”

The first artist: Alexander Calder, one of the 20th century’s most famous artists whose name is virtually inseparable from his mobile creations. Curated by Carmen Giménez, a Guggenheim veteran who specializes in modern and early 20th-century art, the show focuses in on his work from the ’30s and ’40s when Calder was developing his practice. It displays in the Ford gallery, built in 2011, featuring 22-foot ceilings that host mobiles, stabiles and constellations. Iconic pieces, like “Eucalyptus,” will be on display, as well as other “really amazing, important works,” says Schenkenberg. “The hanging mobiles animate the space in a really beautiful way. It’s looking really fun.”

Jimenez’s focus for the show was the lightness of his works. She divided his works into four components: line, brilliance, gravity and movement. “These qualities are translated to lightness, which is the basis for the show,” says Schenkenberg.

Audiences will be able to save their necks by reclining on cushions by Christina Kim of Dosa, a textile artist who partnered with the Pulitzer for the commissioned pieces. The staff hopes that visitors will be encouraged to spend time there not just to see the works, but to treat it as gathering, contemplative place.

“At the Pulitzer, we never present with the labels—it’s not didactic,” Schenkenberg says. “The installation is really immersive to visitors and the experience of Calder’s work. Visitors will intuitively intellectually and experientially understand works and ask questions without an outside prompt. This really unmediated experience with art that defines who we are.”

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