Tuesday, January 28, 2014

trip report - Alexander Calder at LACMA

My family wasn't particularly focused on art when I was a kid. Dad is an engineer and Mom was an amateur naturalist. My first career interest was archeology. I loved looking at the artifacts of previous ages. Surface decoration and handicrafts fascinated me, still do. It wasn't until college that I got my first introduction to fine art. It was a summer class, 8:00 AM, History of Art class. Students would file in, the lights would go off and the slide show commenced. Sounds of snoring were evident after five minutes. Except me. Perched in the front row, notebook open, pen flying, brain on fire. What a nerd.

I collected names, dates, searched out books in the library and committed major works and styles to memory. When we had the chance to see a collection of Alexander Calder's works at the LACMA in January, I was so excited. Sculptures I had previously looked at only in books were right in front of me. 

Known for basically inventing the concept of a "mobile", Calder worked metal into floating, balanced shapes. Standing under some of them at LACMA was a treasured experience.