Calder externalized the void through curiosity and intellectual expansion, seeking to capture the unseen and unknowable forces that lie beneath and beyond the three visible physical dimensions, in order to create a sense of grandeur immense, or “immense grandeur.” Picasso personalized the exploration, focusing on the emotional inner self. Describing his works as pages from his diary, he was engaged with fusing the personal with the universal and was determined to achieve “a deeper likeness, more real than real, thus becoming sur-real.”
Both Calder and Picasso recognized and embraced the potential of the artist to reimagine both visible and invisible worlds through the related processes of constructing and deconstructing subjects and forms in art. For Calder, this process often was one of construction—creating, combining, and animating abstract elements to create a larger and ever-evolving conception of space. For Picasso, this process often was one of deconstruction—destroying, dissecting, and distilling existing subjects to reveal multiple realities—or surrealities. Both artists sought to visualize deeper truths that expand our sense of the possible in art.
Remarkably varied artworks by Calder and Picasso are juxtaposed in thematic groupings throughout the exhibition, revealing the intriguing parallels between these great innovators and the unique visions that make each distinctive.