The Easel

13th April 2021

Alexander Calder: Modern from the Start

New York’s MOMA and Alexander Calder were best buddies. MOMA promoted Calder in key exhibitions while he enabled the fledgling institution to boast a modernist American artist. Calder was their “household god”. The museum’s marketing blurb says that this exhibition celebrates this decades-long relationship. Does it, or is it just a lovely show that will tempt cautious people to visit? Who cares? “Nobody doesn’t love Sandy Calder”

6th April 2021

Indulging in the oxymoronic appeal of MoMA PS1’s latest Niki de Saint Phalle exhibition

De Saint Phalle’s early performance art works are probably seen as her most innovative. By mid career she had moved on to making huge female sculptures. These in turn were gradually displaced by fantastical sculptures for parks and playgrounds. A Gaudi inspired sculpture park took up the last decades of her career, reflecting perhaps her discovery that “there is nothing more shocking than joy”.