New York Art@Site Alexander Calder Le Guichet

Alexander Calder


Le Guichet

Lincoln Center
Pressure and balance
You can walk underneath the artwork Le Guichet by Alexander Calder. While walking I first of all recognize a spider. This raises anxiety in me. But in the lines ot this arwork I recognize also something else.
I see two people who push firmly against each other and also against even something else. This feels good; I instandly think about dear people with whom I sometimes have disagreements about a topic.
And frankly, I don't think we ever completely agree; people give pressure and against-pressure and keep each other in balance.
Le Guichet by Alexander Calder is a strong artwork that says something positive without being explicit. This is an abstract artwork which is concrete at the same time. This artwork is about pressure, against-pressure and balance, and on anxiety and stability.
By Theo,

Druk en balance
Je kunt onder dit kunstwerk Le Guichet van Alexander Calder doorlopen. Tijdens het wandelen herken ik allereerst een spin. Dit roept angst bij mij op. Maar in het lijnenspel herken ik ook iets anders.
Ik zie ook twee mensen die stevig tegen elkaar aanduwen en ook tegen nóg iets anders. Dit voelt goed; ik denk direct aan lieve mensen die ik ken waarmee ik soms onenigheid heb over een onderwerp.
En eerlijk gezegd denk ik niet dat wij er ooit helemaal uit zijn; mensen geven druk en tegendruk en houden elkaar in balans.
Le Guichet van Alexander Calder is een goed kunstwerk dat iets positiefs zegt zonder expliciet te zijn. Dit is een abstract kunstwerk wat heel concreet is. Dit kunstwerk gaat over druk, tegendruk en balans, ook over angst en stabiliteit.
By Theo,
Standing on Lincoln Center's plaza near the Vivian Beaumont Theater, 'Le Guichet' is Alexander Calder's abstract take on a box office. Calder, a U.S. sculptor known for his mobiles, made the steel-plate sculpture in France in 1963.
One of the more visible works in the institution's collections, it features an irregular-shaped hole representing a ticket window, which visitors often peer through while posing for photos.
The vaguely pyramidal shape resembles a series of doorways or even a fanciful, oversized spider.
The whimsical 'stabile' (a term coined by the avant-garde artist Hans Arp to describe Alexander Calder's static sculpture), Le Guichet is made of abstractly-shaped plates of black-painted steel held together by rivets. Visitors can walk under and through the Alexander Calder work to gain a sense of its three-dimensionality and view blue sky through the irregular negative space created by Le Guichet's black 'arms'.
Le Guichet is one of several Alexander Calder artworks in New York City. HisSaurien (1975) sits in front of the IBM headquarters on Madison Avenue; Untitled, a mobile from 1959, is installed at the Chase Bank at 410 Park Avenue. Two sculptures, Black Widow (1959) and Whale II (1964) are part of the collection owned by the Museum of Modert Art.
Alexander Calder created Le Guichet (The Box Office) in 1963 after winning a commission from Lincoln Center. Then at the height of his popularity as an accessible yet critically-acclaimed artist, Alexander Calder already had ties to the theater; he designed sets and mobile apparatus for the Martha Graham Dance Company, ballets and operatic performances. Le Guichet traded on the fact that Lincoln Center, the Robert Moses-championed arts complex unveiled in the early 1960s, boasted no fewer than three box offices for its numerous performing facilities.
To view Le Guichet, enter the Brooklyn Botanic Garden at the main Eastern Parkway entrance in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. The Osborne garden, a formal Italianate garden laid in 1935, is directly ahead of the entrance and provides a symmetrical counterpoint to the irregular angles of the Alexander Calder sculpture. The work will be on view until September 1.
Calder's sculptural work can be broken down into two categories: "mobiles" and "stabiles." Mobiles are sculptures that utilize balance and movement, and have also been called "kinetic art." A mobile usually has a number of objects that hang from a single string, and the artist has arranged them so that their weights balance each other based on how they are positioned.
Le Guichet, however, is considered a "stabile." It's stable and stationary, so it's the opposite of something that is mobile and moving. Calder explained the difference between stabiles and mobiles this way: "You have to walk around a stabile or through it - a mobile dances in front of you."
By making a large sculpture, Calder is presenting the viewer with an object that cannot be viewed in just one way. Unlike viewing a painting on the wall, where one stands in front of it to view it, the stabiles forces the viewer to assess the sculpture from multiple vantage points. The sculpture appears one way when viewed from 20 feet away, it appears different when viewed from 5 feet away, different again when underneath it, different again when viewing from the other side.

H.W. Janson, Anthony Janson (2004):
One important development which Surrealism produced in the early 1930s were the mobile sculptures of the American Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976).
Called mobiles for short, they are delicately balanced constructions of metal wire, hinged together and weighted so as to move with the slightest breath of air.
Unpredictable and ever-changing, such mobiles incorporate the fourth dimension as an essential element.
Kinetic sculpture had been conceived first by the Constructivists. Their influence is evident in Calder’s earliest mobiles, which were motor-driven and tended toward abstract geometric forms.
Calder was also affected early on by Mondrian, whose use of primary colors he adopted. Like Mondrian, he initially thought of his constructions as self-contained miniature universes.
But it was his contact with Surrealism that made him realize the poetic possibilities of 'natural' rather than fully controlled movement. He borrowed biomorphic shapes from Miró and began to conceive of mobiles as counterparts to organic structures: flowers on flexible stems, foliage quivering in the breeze, marine animals floating in the sea. Infinitely responsive to their enironment, they seem amazingly alive.