Calder Now Exhibition Kunsthal

Calder Now Exhibition Kunsthal

Rotterdam, Netherlands


Size: 1,400 m2
Status: Completed
Project Design: 2021
Project Realisation: 2021
Address: Westzeedijk 341, 3015 AA Rotterdam
Client: Kunsthal, Rotterdam

Design Team: Guest curators Dieter Buchhart and Anna Karina Hofbauer

Programme: Design for 1,400 m2 exhibition with sculptures and mobiles.

Photography: Ossip Architectuurfotografie

Mecanoo created the design for “Calder Now”, an extensive exhibition that explores Alexander Calder’s enduring and unmistakable influence on contemporary art. The exhibition showcases over 20 sculptures by Calder alongside works by 10 prominent contemporary artists who have taken inspiration from his practice: Olafur Eliasson, Zilvinas Kempinas, Simone Leigh, Ernesto Neto, Carsten Nicolai, Aki Sasamoto, Roman Signer, Monika Sosnowska, Sarah Sze and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Many of the sculptures and installations will be shown in the Netherlands for the first time. Calder instigated many revolutionary artistic innovations. He succeeded in transforming the contemporary understanding of sculpture – making the fourth dimension of time a prominent and indispensable element of his work.

The exhibition is designed to lead the visitor through a multisensory experience. Located in the gallery’s largest exhibition space, important themes in Calder’s compositions are addressed: light and reflection, humble materials, the senses, sound, activation, architecture, ephemera, gravity, performance, and positive and negative space. Mecanoo took these subjects and chose to create two universes that merge.

The visitor is initially guided through a selection of Calder’s work. Through a series of openings and windows, the visitor flows through the gallery space as Calder’s work is fused with pieces from the 10 contemporary artists. Specific requirements of each artist had to be accommodated with the greatest challenge being the combination of all the works into one holistic space, without separating the individual pieces.

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