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Calder: Hypermobility
Activations and Performances

Daily Activations

Thanks to an unprecedented collaboration with the calder Foundation, this exhibition provides visitors with a rare opportunity to experience works as the artist intended—set in motion by motors or air currents and further animated by touch. Specially trained museum staff will activate four works at each time slot. These movements are at once surprising and subtle, inviting viewers to slow down and experience the works in real time. We are honoring the artist's intention for the motion of these pieces. As philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre remarked, “The movements of calder’s mobiles have a life of their own."

12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm

11 am*, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, 7:30 pm, 8 pm, 9 pm

Saturday and Sunday
11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm

*The motorized piece, Untitled, 1938, will be activated for 10 minutes.

All daily activations will take place on Floor 8, in the Hurst Family Galleries.

Performing the Work

Additional rarely seen works will be brought to the museum for one-time activations led by Alexander S. C. Rower, the president of the calder Foundation and grandson of the artist. These events will take place in both the gallery and theater. 

June 21, 2 pm 
Floor 8, Hurst Family Galleries
Object with Red Ball

June 28, 2 pm
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Theater
Boomerangs, 1941

July 9, 4 pm 
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Theater

July 12, 2 pm
Floor 8, Hurst Family Galleries
Goldfish Bowl

July 20, 1 pm
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Theater
Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere, 1932/33

July 26, 1 pm
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Theater
Franji Pani, 1955

August 23, 1 pm
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Theater
Untitled, ca. 1932

August 30, 1 pm
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Theater
Cône d’ébène, 1933

September 13, 1 pm
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Theater
Untitled, c. 1934

September 18, 1 pm
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Theater
Scarlet Digitals, 1945

Due to high demand, these events will be ticketed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please visit the admissions desk in the lobby to request a free ticket.

Artist Projects

This exhibition features an expansive series of performances and events, bringing contemporary artists into dialogue with calder as they interplay their own disparate practices with his innovations.

July 19–23
Three-night performance of calder’s Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere, 1932/33 by Christian Marclay with cellist Okkyung Lee (July 19-21) and daily activations of the work by Museum staff

August 5–6
JACK Quartet performs within the exhibition and in the Susan and John Hess Family Theater

September 9
As part of the Myth Astray event series, Arto Lindsay performs with instruments made by Alexander calder during his time in Brazil

September 28
1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm
Jill Magid: Awaiting Alexander calder

September 30–October 1
Math Bass and Lauren Davis Fisher perform Quiet Work in Session

October 6
C. Spencer Yeh: Two Workaround Works Around calder

October 7
A screening of films commissioned by the calder Foundation by artists Ephraim Asili, Rosa Barba, Lucy Raven, and Agnès Varda, followed by a conversation moderated by Victoria Brooks

October 13–15
Abigail DeVille with director Charlotte Brathwaite, debuts new work, entitled Empire State Works in Progress, 2017

October 21–22
Nora Schultz

COVID-19 vaccination and face coverings are not required but strongly recommended. Book tickets in advance and review our visitor policies.



A 30-second online art project:
Sara Ludy, Tumbleweeds

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