Alexander Calder (1898–1976) transposed modernist visual abstraction to space, naming his works allusively for the aspects of motion or balance they portrayed. Leaving Paris for his native United States in 1933, he settled in an old farmhouse in Roxbury, Connecticut, where nature became a new source of inspiration for his creativity.
The monumental standing mobile The Tree (1966) demonstrates the relationship between abstraction and realization. In a combination of mobile and stabile, the artist questions the development of the abstract image that can be traced back to the figurative motif of the tree. This work is the focus of Calder Gallery II at the Fondation Beyeler. Centered on the Calder’s outdoor sculpture and his development of large-scale works, the presentation includes original and related maquettes that anticipate The Tree and a striking group of rarely seen sculptures from the 1930s to 1950s.