Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso met on only a few occasions, but their works of art often communicated.
As each artist explored carving space into shapes, removing mass but leaving outlines, their creations appeared to be in conversation with each other.
Their sketches, paintings and sculptures will have a chance to speak again this summer when the Calder-Picasso exhibit opens at the High Museum of Art June 26.
Conceived by the grandsons of the two men, and organized by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the exhibition will feature more than 100 painted, drawn and sculpted works from periods spanning the full careers of both artists.
The High’s curator of European art, Claudia Einecke, said that seen side by side, the affinities between these works become apparent. She added, in a statement, “In fact, we might think of the exhibition as a kind of non-verbal version of the artistic conversation that Calder and Picasso, by all accounts, did not have in person.”
Putting their works together was the idea of two grandsons of the two artists, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso and Alexander S. C. Rower.
“Calder and Picasso are among the most consequential artists of the 20th century,” said the High’s director Rand Suffolk, in a statement. “Their work remains undeniably compelling, and although we’ve presented it separately on many occasions, this exhibition offers the chance to see it from a particularly unique perspective.”
Reportedly the two met only four times, including once in 1937 at the Exposition Internationale in Paris, when Calder’s “Mercury Fountain” was installed in front of Picasso’s “Guernica.”
“Calder-Picasso” will be presented in the Cousins Special Exhibition Galleries on the second level of the High’s Wieland Pavilion, June 26 through Sept. 19.
Calder’s work has particular resonance for Atlanta audiences. His colorful 23-foot-tall sculpture, “Three Up, Three Down,” sat on the museum’s lawn above Peachtree Street for 25 years, on loan from the Calder Foundation. It remained there from the opening of the museum’s new Richard Meier building in 1988 until the sculpture was removed in early 2014.
100 works from two art icons are coming to the High Museum of Art. To maintain safety, the museum is requiring timed ticketing and face coverings.
June 26-Sept. 19. $14.50 general admission. 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-4400, high.org.