Calder-Picasso: Composing Emotions / Componiendo Emociones

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

AMERICAN ARTIST ALEXANDER Calder (1898–1976) said: “Just as one can compose colors or forms, so one can compose emotions.” And for me, he and Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) did and still do just that. My very creative and talented mother, the Dowager Duchess, introduced me to Picasso’s and Calder’s works in the 1960s. Having easy access to the great museums of New York City was a gift. I was enthralled. My childhood art, none of which has been saved, was inspired by both. When I was around 11, I started creating my own Calder-like mobiles out of wire clothes hangers and attachments. They hung from the ceiling in my bedroom (the Scotch-taped/Sellotaped ceilings didn’t please my father).

My art has always, I think, shown Picasso’s and Calder’s influence — not that I’m comparing myself to Picasso or Calder. Although The Duchess often praised my artistic talents, she also often reminded me I would never be “one of them.” Oh well, I think she was simply projecting her own feelings of inferiority onto her son.

So getting to experience on Thursday the exceptional Calder-Picasso Exhibition currently on display at Málaga’s Picasso Museum, brilliantly exploring their creative connections, brought back a lot of emotions. The way I felt when I first discovered them both. The way I felt when I took some artistic inspiration from them. The bliss of lying in bed and watching my Calder-like mobiles swirl overhead. Sadness at realizing I would never be as good or as special as either of them — because someone told me so. And then, finally, gratitude for their creations, for their genius, and for the fact that I survived it all and can be so overwhelmed by an art exhibit.

If you can’t see these in-person, I hope you can feel some of what I felt simply by clicking the images.


EL ARTISTA ESTADOUNIDENSE Alexander Calder (1898–1976) dijo: “Así como uno puede componer colores o formas, también puede componer emociones”. Y para mí, él y Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) hicieron y siguen haciendo exactamente eso. Mi madre, la muy creativa y talentosa Duquesa Viuda, me presentó las obras de Picasso y Calder en la década de 1960. Tener un fácil acceso a los grandes museos de la ciudad de Nueva York fue un regalo. Estaba cautivado. Mi arte de la infancia, ninguno de los cuales se ha guardado, se inspiró en ambos. Cuando tenía alrededor de 11 años, comencé a crear mis propios móviles tipo Calder con perchas de alambre y accesorios. Colgaban del techo de mi habitación (los techos con cinta adhesiva no complacían a mi padre).

Creo que mi arte siempre ha demostrado la influencia de Picasso y Calder — no es que me esté comparando con Picasso o Calder. Aunque la duquesa a menudo elogió mis talentos artísticos, también me recordó que nunca sería “uno de ellos”. Oh, bueno, creo que simplemente estaba proyectando sus propios sentimientos de inferioridad hacia su hijo.

Así que experimentar el jueves la excepcional Exposición Calder-Picasso que se exhibe actualmente en el Museo Picasso de Málaga, explorando brillantemente sus conexiones creativas, trajo muchas emociones. La forma en que me sentí cuando los descubrí por primera vez. La forma en que me sentí cuando tomé un poco de inspiración artística de ellos. La dicha de estar acostado en la cama y ver cómo mis móviles parecidos a Calder se arremolinan en lo alto. Tristeza al darme cuenta de que nunca sería tan bueno o tan especial como cualquiera de ellos, porque alguien me lo dijo. Y luego, finalmente, gratitud por sus creaciones, por su genio, y por el hecho de que sobreviví a todo y puedo estar tan abrumado por una exhibición de arte.

Si no puedes verlos en persona, espero que puedas sentir algo de lo que sentí simplemente haciendo clic en las imágenes.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

32 thoughts on “Calder-Picasso: Composing Emotions / Componiendo Emociones”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing these pictures. Inspiration reigns/rains down from your view of the world whether tempered by your Mom or not. Remember you are HERE now and you make a difference! Besides Gerry told me so!

    1. Ron:
      Thanks! You are always an inspiration. So grateful we connected those growing-to-many years ago.

      1. Deedles:
        Grandpa!?! Oh dear god. Abuelo Scoot. Tio Scoot… Tito Scoot. Hmmm…. Tito does have a ring. But how about Scoot the Scribbler? Scribbling Scoot? My mother used to sign her paintings with a 2-dimensional Block (for our last name) with her initials, same as mine MB, inside two squares. So, when I was a kid, I added a 2D chip to the block (because I was a chip off the old Block).

    1. David:
      You are SO right. That really was the perfect thing to say to help with my motivation.

  2. Mitch, thank you for sharing these wonderful pieces of art by two masters.
    I’ve always loved Picasso’s work and this is the first of Calder’s that I have seen. I feel pulled toward them… a good way.
    How fortunate you were to have had these artists’ works so near when you were a kid and again now. You have gone full circle, I’d say, for a reason.

    1. Jim:
      Seeing the original paintings and constructions when I was a kid had a huge impact. And this exhibit was even more powerful for me.

  3. I love Calder’s work. Seems modern, even today which is a testament to his vision.
    Thanks for sharing these.

    1. Bob:
      This really did remind me how much more there was to Calder than just the mobiles. Amazing.

    1. Debra:
      In took 33 individual shots for that gif and then whittled down to 16 or 17 for the final. Oh, that exhibit. I wonder how others have reacted.

    1. Susan:
      I never really appreciated the permanent influence they had on me (more-so Calder).

      1. Susan:
        I knew you meant Calder. I figured it’s pretty clear from my line drawings.

  4. I am not sure I will ever look at a piece of wire the same way – so much expression with a small piece of metal

    1. Cheapchick:
      Isn’t it amazing. In one of my first art classes in college, we often had to do continuous line drawings, sometimes with out eyes closed. Never lifting the pen from the paper. I LOVED that and the results looked like Calder’s wire forms.

    1. Urspo:
      I had to restrain myself from sharing every single thing I saw. I loved the Picasso Museum to begin with, but this really put me it the top for me.

  5. I guess parenting can bring a kind of sadism out in some people. At least put them on a power trip. You have these little people you own that you can say anything you want to, and they can’t do anything about it.

    1. Kirk:
      I tried confronting my mother a couple of times when I was a kid. She never appreciated what she was doing and would tell me she was simply trying to help me be realistic… or improve. She really didn’t have much different growing up. She did however introduce me to museums and artists and so much more.

  6. Not a Picasso fan, one of my drawing teachers was a huge fan but we got along fabulous !
    Love Calder

    1. Parsnip:
      I love them both. This exhibit even enhance my appreciation of Calder (who I loved to begin with).

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