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AT FIRST SIGHT

THOMAS EVANS | DATE 6/9/2010

Yves Tanguy & Alexander Calder: Between Surrealism and Abstraction

A stand-out title from the D.A.P. Fall 2010 catalogue is L&M Arts' Yves Tanguy & Alexander Calder: Between Surrealism and Abstraction, which accompanies an L&M show in New York that closes on 9 July. The show is great, and beautifully installed, and the book, already shipping from the warehouse, is an impressive work of book art, sporting on its covers what must be the happiest combination of blue and red since MoMA's The Russian Avant-Garde Book (2002), and boasting such touches as red card die-cuts (in Calder-style ovals), with letter-press texts:
Yves Tanguy & Alexander Calder
Yves Tanguy & Alexander Calder
Both book and show emphatically set aside genre and schools to explore how Calder, ostensibly an avatar of American abstraction, and Tanguy, card-carrying Surrealist, overlapped in their preoccupation with biomorphic shape pitched against stark backdrops, preoccupations that each took in differing directions--Calder toward the idea of the constellation, and Tanguy toward the dreamscape.
Yves Tanguy & Alexander Calder
Tanguy and Calder also frequently exhibited together: Alfred Barr included them in two landmark MoMA shows: Cubism and Abstract Art (1936) and Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism (1937). (Calder appeared in the latter show under the category of "Artists independent of the Dada and Surrealist movements.") The book opens with an account of Peggy Guggenheim's famous demonstration of her equability towards both Surrealism and abstraction by wearing one earring made by Tanguy and another by Calder at the opening of her Art of This Century gallery in 1942. It then follows the artists' earliest encounters in Paris, at the height of the Surrealists' activities, through to the Tanguys' emigration to New York during the German occupation of France. Plenty of photographs and ephemera, plus a chronology and a selection of contemporary reviews of Tanguy and Calder exhibitions round out this celebratory portrait of a friendship.
Yves Tanguy & Alexander Calder
The book opens with an account of Peggy Guggenheim's famous demonstration of her equability towards both Surrealism and abstraction by wearing one earring made by Tanguy and another by Calder at the opening of her Art of This Century gallery in 1942. It then follows the artists' earliest encounters in Paris, at the height of the Surrealists' activities, through to the Tanguys' emigration to New York during the German occupation of France. Plenty of photographs and ephemera, plus a chronology and a selection of contemporary reviews of Tanguy and Calder exhibitions round out this celebratory portrait of a friendship.
Yves Tanguy & Alexander Calder
Yves Tanguy & Alexander Calder
Yves Tanguy & Alexander Calder
Yves Tanguy & Alexander Calder

Yves Tanguy & Alexander Calder:  Between Surrealism and Abstraction

Yves Tanguy & Alexander Calder: Between Surrealism and Abstraction

L&M Arts
Hbk, 9.5 x 11.5 in. / 180 pgs / illustrated throughout.