Calder, Oudolf and Serpentine Pavilion in Somerset
Books & Exhibitions
Inspiration can be found in the most unlikely of places. This week while escaping the city heat for a little rural life, we happened upon Hauser & Wirth Somerset, an art institution nestled in farmland. Here the premise is fusing arts and ideas – paintings and sculptures live with architecture, design, and crafted landscapes. There are creative workshops here and niche publishing, artisan objects for sale and some excellent locally-sourced food to enjoy.
On until September is the exhibition ‘Alexander Calder: From the Stony River to the Sky’. The American abstract artist was attuned to the rhythms of the land surrounding his Connecticut studio where he moved to from Paris in the 1930s, and where he created some of his most exciting mobiles and stabiles. It, therefore, feels completely perfect to show Calder’s grand scale outdoor sculptures here, in nature rather than in the confines of an urban gallery.
At Hauser & Wirth Somerset, and amongst the Dutch planting designer Piet Oudolf’s radical landscape, Calder comes alive. At the end of the ‘Oudolf Field’ sits the Serpentine Radic Pavilion by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, which now lives permanently here. Inspired by Oscar Wild’s ‘The Selfish Giant’, this playful building is the perfect space from where to observe Oudolf’s fascinating approach to planting design, and Calder’s moving sculptures that continuously alter in shape and character.
‘The art of Calder is the sublimation of a tree in the wind,’ wrote his friend the Dadaist Marcel Duchamp. Writing about his mobiles in 1933, Calder asked, ‘Why not plastic forms in motion? Not a single translatory or rotary motion but several motions of different types, speeds, and amplitudes composing to make a resultant whole. Just as one can compose colours, or forms, so one can compose motion.’ Similarly, Oudolf’s radical designs asks us to read the landscape in multiple ways.
Our approach at Spinach is to look at creativity in a similar way. Arts and ideas continuously feed into everything we do here at the studio, and observing the world around us helps form ideas on branding, advertising and design, illustration and graphics, and publishing. We are always excited to hear from new brands, from individuals with exciting business ideas, or simply likeminded people who share our creative values.
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