City Hall Park in downtown Manhattan is one of the city’s secret jewels. Fortunately, I pass by the park a few times a month because of my gym and have the pleasure of enjoying the sculpture exhibitions by some of the world’s greatest sculptors.
This year, Alexander Calder‘s elegant forms touched down in the midst of winter to an aesthetic thaw that made the typically miserable cold tolerable.
While Calder’s mobiles usually garner the public attention (like this one in DC’s Nat’l Gallery of Art), his floor anchored sculptures (called “stabiles“) have long played second fiddle but are, in fact, more monumental and less whimsical than their more popular relatives.
Nestled in the manicured trees and bushes, the natural setting amplifies the organic forms in the art works. While Calder’s mobiles often seem extraterrestrial, the stabiles are grounded in everyday forms. It is a shame that his stabiles are often confined to the sterile white box spaces of galleries, since they seem more at home in a city park rather than a city museum.
This video is an experiment in art criticism, part of an evolving exploration of image & text and meaning.