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Modern art

UK debut for Calder's most complex mobile

The 12-foot sculpture has not left Brazil since Calder gave it to the Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil in São Paulo, in 1948

One of Alexander Calder’s largest and most complex mobiles is to be shown in London for the first time next month after being conserved by the artist’s grandsons. Black Widow (1948) will be installed in a room of its own as the finale of Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture at Tate Modern, the largest presentation of the US artist’s work ever held in the UK (11 November-3 April).

The 12-foot sculpture had not left Brazil since Calder gave it to the Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil in São Paulo, in 1948. “No other work is quite comparable,” says Tate Modern’s director of exhibitions, Achim Borchardt-Hume. The sculpture was stripped of paint and reconfigured at the Calder Foundation in New York. The eight-week treatment “restored the movement” so it can now “do what it is intended to do”, Borchardt-Hume says. At Frieze Masters, Pace gallery (FM, C9) is presenting a solo booth dedicated to Calder.

• For more on the conservation of Black Widow, see our November print edition