Calder – Picasso

 – Alexander Calder, 2018 ranking: 23rd place, total revenue €7,918,157.

 – Pablo Picasso, 2018 ranking: absolute first place with revenues of €538,505,380 (Source: Artprice.com).

From the perspective of the current attitude to modern art, and contemporary art all the more, this is all the information we would need to illustrate the importance of this exceptional exhibition.

But, in this case, the economic value is paired — to put it mildly — with the artistic value.

These two art giants are being shown side-by-side at this exhibition in Paris at the Picasso Museum in the Hotel Salé in the Marais district, from February 19 to August 25, 2019. We have to say that its impact is a sure thing.

 Seeing Calder’s famed “mobiles,” emblematic of Kinetic Art, gracefully circling above Picasso’s sculptures and paintings is truly a thrill not to be missed, even if we have to say that it is not obvious what ultimately connects the two other than being visionary geniuses.

The captions aren’t much help, such as one reading, “The progression from the solidity of the volumetric figure to simplified lines of gesture is about refining the images — or scraping away — to access the truth.

Wow, it even gives us the “truth” of the object!

What could that mean? The sacredness of the object in an immanentist or animist view of reality? The earthly expression of the Platonic ideal? Something else?

It is far from clear.

It would make perfect sense if it were a matter of launching any of the hundreds of contemporary artists needing fancy sentences to give any kind of meaning to their works. But we’re talking about Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder here. Was there really a need?

Calder – Picasso
Picasso Museum

75003 Paris

5 rue de Thorigny

from February 19 to August 25, 2019