Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Somerset is one of our favourite destinations. A free gallery and multi-purpose art centre (with its own working farm and restaurant), it was founded by Iwan and Manuela Wirth, of the commercial Swiss art gallery Hauser & Wirth (they live in the area – for more info on how the gallery started read my previous post).
We caught the last day of ‘From the Stony River to the Sky’, a major show of solo works from the Calder foundation. For anyone who doesn’t know of Alexander Calder (1898-1976), he was one of the most important American abstract sculptors of the 20th century.
From the Stony River to the Sky: the exhibition takes its title from the etymology of the surname Calder in Celtic—meaning ‘from the stony river’—and its inspiration from Calder’s long-time home and studio in Roxbury, Connecticut.
As well as paintings, large scale sculptures and mesmerising mobiles, the exhibition features a number of homemade domestic objects that Calder fashioned himself. Living on a rural farm in Connecticut, Calder (a trained engineer) chose to make objects rather than purchase them – the show includes many of these creations, that incidentally have never been shown in public before – items include a toaster, pair of clogs, ashtray, chess set, chairs, a dinner bell, baby’s rattle, even a toilet paper holder.
Calder also loved to make jewellery for his wife and friends – often fashioning something on his way to a party and presenting it as a surprise.
The beautiful gardens at Hauser & Wirth Somerset were designed by renowned designer Piet Oudolf. I’m told this is his favourite time of year (first week in Sept) to catch the gardens in all their beauty. They smelt wonderful too!
For info on Calder’s work (and getting the look) read my previous post here
We caught the last day of the Calder show. The next show at Hauser & Wirth is Takesada Matsutani, 29 Sept – 1 Jan 2019.
Hauser & Wirth Somerset
Open Tuesday – Sunday
10 am – 5 pm (March – October)
10 am – 4 pm (November – February)
Closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays)