"We had gotten to know the Tanguys quite well… as we found them pleasant we had them out to Roxbury. They liked the country around our place very much, and they bought a house in Woodbury."
— Alexander Calder
"Of course there is a Paris one always misses. Still, Woodbury suits me perfectly… there is more freedom—more room in this country. That was why I came here."
In 1942, Peggy Guggenheim famously wore one earring by Tanguy and one by Calder to the opening of Art of This Century. With "Yves Tanguy and Alexander Calder," L&M Arts continues her gesture of impartiality "between Surrealist and abstract art." The two-floor installation begins in the mid-1930s and proceeds through the mid-1950s, suggesting an aesthetic affinity between Tanguy's paintings and Calder's constructions. While the early biomorphic shapes of both painting and sculpture remind us of shared associations to Surrealism, later structural and precariously balanced compositions force viewers to look with, what Nicolas Calas called, "an attitude of expectancy."
A formal relationship between the work of these two artists was first acknowledged by Pierre Matisse in 1943, when his New York gallery presented parallel solo exhibitions: "Yves Tanguy: Recent Paintings" and "Alexander Calder: Constellationes." Critics were quick to note the evident dialectical relationship between their work. In homage to these exhibitions, L&M Arts has devoted one of its rooms to works from the 1940s.
"Yves Tanguy and Alexander Calder" will feature generous loans from private collections and institutions, such as: The Calder Foundation, New York; Glenstone, Potomac; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection, New York; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
A catalogue featuring an essay by Susan Davidson and previously unpublished archival documents and photography explores the friendship the two artists developed in their shared Connecticut community.
Tanguy Calder Between Surrealism and Abstraction will run through July 9, 2010.