1955, Alexander Calder
»Hextopus«, the sculpture by the American sculptor Alexander Calder, is over two metres high and formed in black metal like a cut-out silhouette. It was created in 1955 especially for the American Consulate-General in Frankfurt. Since Calder was a friend of Hans Arp and the latter even introduced the term »Stabile« to describe Calder's imposing steel-plate sculptures, »Hextopus« fits perfectly into the concept of the Arp Museum. The latter includes the introduction of new aspects of the dialogue between Hans Arp and his artist friends.
The sculpture is a long-term loan from the Consulate General of the United States Frankfurt:
The sculpture is now a long-term loan and will stand in the outside area of the Richard Meier Building for five years, from 2013‒2018. This generous loan is the expression of the lively cultural friendship which links the USA with Germany, and especially with Rhineland-Palatinate.
Dr. Oliver Kornhoff, the Director of the Arp Museum, comments: »I am delighted that we are able to make this wonderful sculpture accessible to the public once more for the first time since the documenta of 1964, and that this can take place in dialogue with the works of Calder's artist friends Hans Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp.«
Alexander Calder, born in Philadelphia, USA, in 1898, came from a family of artists. He initially studied to become an engineer before devoting himself to his artistic training in New York and Paris. Following initial success he joined the artists' group »Abstraction-Création« in 1930 and made the acquaintance not only of Piet Mondrian and Joan Miró but also of Hans Arp. A visit to a planetarium inspired him to create his first mobile abstract wire sculptures, which later became world famous as »Mobiles«. Calder thus created »kinetic art«. In contrast to this he later developed tectonic heavy sculptures of steel plating, his »Stabiles«. Even during his lifetime his works were exhibited in a number of retrospectives and Calder was awarded numerous prizes. He died in New York in 1976.