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Europe is set for a summer of big sculpture

Monumental works by Calder heading to Rijksmuseum’s gardens and Sweden will get a large-scale LeWitt

Monumental sculpture by Calder, like this piece at the Museo Reina Sofía, will be shown at the Rijksmuseum next year. Photo: © Frames of Reference

An exhibition of 20 vast works by the late US sculptor Alexander Calder is due to open in the Summer Sculpture Garden at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in June 2014.

“In collaboration with the [New York-based] Calder Foundation, large-scale sculptures from museums and private collections across Europe and the US will be shown in the open air,” a museum spokeswoman says. Alfred Pacquement, formerly the head of the Musée d’Art Moderne at Paris’s Centre Pompidou, is the guest curator.

The exhibition is the second in a series of annual international sculpture displays that will be presented in the Rijksmuseum’s gardens over the next four years. The initiative is partly funded by the BankGiro Lottery and an anonymous donor.

Meanwhile, Scandinavia is due to get its first outdoor sculpture by Sol LeWitt this summer, when the artist’s “9 Towers” is installed at the architecture- and design-based Kivik Art Centre in Lilla Stenshuvud, southeast Sweden.

“Kivik Art Centre is an architectonic sculpture park and so we thought that LeWitt fit here”, says Sune Nordgren, the curator and project leader at the Kivik Art Centre, and the former director of the Norwegian National Gallery in Oslo. This is the first piece of outdoor public art by LeWitt in the region, he adds, and the work has never before been exhibited.

LeWitt came up with the concept for the piece just before his death in 2007, Nordgren says, and faxed the idea to another American artist, Jene Highstein. Before Highstein died this April, he contacted Nordgren and told him that the Sculpture belonged at Kivik. The work will now be fabricated posthumously, following the faxed instructions. “It is a unique sculpture that we are happy to build,” Nordgren says.

The sculpture will be a cube made from more than 1,000 light-coloured bricks that are characteristic of LeWitt’s previous sculptures and will measure five-meters on each side. The seasonal park reopens this summer for its eighth year and features collaborations between architects and artist, including Snøhetta with Tom Sandberg, and David Chipperfield with Antony Gormley.

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