Alexander Calder and Joan Miró were good friends, with a lot in common. The same goes for the work, too, and this dreamy little exhibition proves it. Working in Paris, both took the most crowd-pleasing bits of the Surrealist movement they were surrounded with, and expressed it in antic, zany, colourful form. Calder made mobiles, Miró paintings.
They’re both still really popular: the last couple of years having brought major retrospectives for Calder at the Whitney, and Miró at the Grand Palais. The show at Nahmad Projects, a tiny fortress-like space in Mayfair, is, necessarily, much tighter.
It’s structured by two pairs, one small and one large. Pictured above is Calder’s Red Stalk (1955) and a little Miró oil, Chien enragé, from the same year.
The larger pair is from 1964: Blue and Yellow among Reds from Calder and Oiseau dans la nuit from Miró. Calder’s mobile is hanging temptingly above head height: it was made in the same year as his first big Guggenheim retrospective.
A particularly happy moment for a particularly happy artist. This show made me smile.
Calder/Miro: Clair de lune is at Nahmad Projects (London). 22 February – 18 April 2019