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Culture

Calder and Picasso get it together in stunning Paris exhibition

media Big Red, 1959, a signature mobile by Alexander Calder and Seven Black, Red and Blue, 1947, at home in the Picasso Museum in Paris Rosslyn Hyams/RFI English

Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso, two of the great artists who marked their own time, largely the 20th century, have been united in Paris and will be sticking together here until mid-summer. About 150 of their works are presented at the Picasso Museum in Paris until late July 2019.

Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso died within a few years of each other in the 1970s and met about four times during their lives.

These two creative and visionary giants today continue to fire up artists and art lovers alike in the 21st Century with their forms, materials and colour. Calder's black and white finely-shaped mobiles and primary colours come to mind directly. However, central to this exhibition are more grounded but also precariously balancing sculptures, alongside Picasso's drawings, paintings, metal and wood work, Blue Period, and cubist material.

Below, a series of selected works in the exhibition:

Picasso's painting, Woman and Red Armchair (2nd from L) and sculpture Woman's Head (R) with two of Calder's sculptures at the Picasso Museum, Paris, February-July 2019 Rosslyn Hyams/RFI English

From one room in the majestic former mansion to another, from smaller works, some of them studies, to monumental works, colour or black and white, the philosophical exhibition covers a wide spectrum of Calder's and Picasso's work and helps to pick out the connections and distinctions.

Alexander Calder's 'The Great Speed', a study, 1969, in the Calder-Picasso Exhibition "dialogues" with a Picasso painting, Picasso Museum, Paris Rosslyn Hyams/RFI English

Emilia Philippot is the co-curator of the exhibition at the Picasso Collection in Paris, along with the two artists' grandsons.

She says that Calder's and Picasso's works have many things in common, but the Museum chose to focus on both men's exploration of the void or the absence of space.

Emilie Philippot, curator of the Calder-Picasso exhibition at the Picasso Museum in Paris speaks to RFI's Rosslyn Hyams 19/04/2019 Listen

As Emilia Phillipot explains, studies for sculptures in a garden by Calder, one of his mobiles and Picasso's sunflower girl made of wooden and other objects cause a sort of material echo in one of the rooms whose sub-theme is "grace" and "volatility" in their works.

Works by Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso connecting at the Picasso Museum in Paris, 2019 Rosslyn Hyams/RFI English

This is just a selection of the works on show, and only from one angle at one time of day.

The look and feel of any particular piece depends on the time of day and the light filtering through the windows of the Hôtel Salé in the upper Marais.

The “Calder-Picasso” exhibition is organized in partnership with the Calder Foundation, New York, and the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA). The exhibition travels on to Museo Picasso Málaga in Spain, opening on 24 September 2019 until 2 February 2020.

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