Calder Foundation

Edgar Varèse

Date c. 1930
Media
Wire
Dimensions
15" × 11 3⁄4" × 12 1⁄2"
Collection
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; 50th Anniversary Gift of Mrs. Louise Varèse in honor of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (no. 80.25)
Historical Photos  3
Related exhibitions  6
Galerie Percier, Paris (1931)

Galerie Percier, Paris. Alexandre Calder: Volumes–Vecteurs–Densités / Dessins–Portraits. 27 April–9 May 1931.

Solo Exhibition
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1964)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Alexander Calder: A Retrospective Exhibition. 6 November 1964–31 January 1965.

Solo Exhibition
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris (1965)

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris. Calder. 8 July–15 October 1965. Originated from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Solo Exhibition
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1976)

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Calder’s Universe. 14 October 1976–6 February 1977.

Solo Exhibition
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2009)

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Alexander Calder: les années parisiennes 1926–1933. 18 March–20 July 2009. Originated from the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Solo Exhibition
Tate Modern, London (2015)

Tate Modern, London. Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture. 11 November 2015–3 April 2016.

Solo Exhibition
Chronology  1
Fall 1930

Kiesler introduces Calder to composer Edgard Varèse and Calder makes a wire portrait of him. Varèse, who feels that his own compositions resonate with Calder’s new abstract sculpture, becomes a frequent visitor to Calder’s studio.

Works / Wire Sculpture 77
Related Timeline
1926–1930 Wire Sculpture and the Circus

Soon after moving to Paris in 1926, Calder created his Cirque Calder. Made of wire and a spectrum of found materials, the Cirque was a work of performance art that gained Calder an introduction to the Parisian avant-garde. He continued to explore his invention of wire sculpture, whereby he “drew” with wire in three dimensions the portraits of friends, animals, circus themes, and personalities of the day.