Lévy Gorvy is pleased to present Calder / Kelly, the first major exhibition exploring the visual and personal affinities between landmark American artists Alexander Calder and Ellsworth Kelly. Presented in collaboration with the Calder Foundation and Ellsworth Kelly Studio, the exhibition is a discourse between generations that celebrates the artists’ friendship and their extraordinary experiences as Americans who were shaped by significant periods of time spent living in Paris.
Over the three floors of Lévy Gorvy’s building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a dynamic exchange between two virtuosic talents will take shape. Animated by the tension between figuration and abstraction, the works on view suggest intriguing intersections, including the striking repartee between two- and three-dimensionality (which, in Calder’s case, extends to four-dimensionality) that is a notable element of each artist’s oeuvre. Comprising approximately three dozen paintings and sculptures made over a fifty-year period, Calder’s mobile Red Maze III (1954) and his stabile Black Beast (1940), and Kelly’s paintings Red White (1962) and Three Gray Panels (1987) will be among the works on view.
The aesthetic dialogue between Calder and Kelly extends through an attendant display of art directly exchanged as gestures of friendship and mutual artistic rapport. Letters and other documents illuminate a relationship where creativity and high personal regard were beautifully intertwined.
On view through January 9, the exhibition will be followed by the publication of a fully illustrated catalogue, featuring texts by Calder biographer Jed Perl, curator Veronica Roberts, and philosopher Robert Hopkins, while Simon Perchik, Forrest Gander, and Dan Chiasson will contribute poems inspired by the artists.