Calder by Matter, a publication organised in collaboration with the Calder Foundation

Calder by Matter

Calder by Matter

Cahiers d’Art announces the launch of Calder by Matter, a publication organised in collaboration with the Calder Foundation. Calder by Matter is the first Cahiers d’Art publication since the relaunch of the Cahiers d’Art revue in October 2012.

Photographer and graphic designer Herbert Matter, a close friend of Alexander Calder, had the privilege of photographing the artist’s sculptures at different stages of their realization and capturing Calder at work in his studios and in his Roxbury, Connecticut, home. Calder by Matter offers a new perspective on the sculptor’s life and work, presenting over 300 photographs of the artist and his family, many of which are previously unpublished. Available in a Standard Edition as well as a Collector’s Edition (limited edition of 250 copies), Calder by Matter includes original essays by esteemed art critic and Calder biographer Jed Perl, Calder Foundation President and Calder grandson Alexander S. C. Rower (editor of the volume), and Matter student and colleague John T. Hill (designer of the volume).

On the occasion of the book launch, Cahiers d’Art will present an exhibition of over thirty works by Calder, including mobiles, stabiles, bronzes, decorative objects, and gouaches, as well as a selection of photographs by Matter.

Alexander Calder (1898–1976), whose illustrious career spanned much of the 20th century, is the most acclaimed and influential sculptor of our time. Born in a family of celebrated, though more classically trained artists, Calder utilized his innovative genius to profoundly change the course of modern art. He began by developing a new method of sculpting: by bending and twisting wire, he essentially “drew” three-dimensional figures in space. He is renowned for the invention of the mobile, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony. Calder also devoted himself to making outdoor sculpture on a grand scale from bolted sheet steel. Today, these stately titans grace public plazas in cities throughout the world.

Though Calder was undoubtedly American, no serious discussion of his life and work could take place without mention of his adopted home, France, which had a tremendous impact on him. Calder arrived in Paris in the summer of 1926 and he became a recognizable figure among the Parisian avant-garde with performances of Cirque Calder and his invention of wire sculpture. Though Calder and his wife, Louisa, moved to the States in 1933, two decades later they returned to France and established their primary residence in Saché, where Calder built a large studio in 1962. Calder’s early experiences in Paris undoubtedly laid the foundation for the internationally renowned artist that he would become, and French culture continued to have a strong influence on both his art and the way he lived his life. That influence continues today in the Calder family and the many projects of the Calder Foundation.

Herbert Matter (1907–1984) is one of the most highly regarded and influential of the mid- century modern design masters. Born in Switzerland, Matter pursued photography in the late twenties and early thirties in Paris while studying under Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant. Inspired by Man Ray, László Moholy-Nagy, and other modernists, he mastered the experimental photographic techniques of photogram, collage, and montage. Matter worked briefly for Le Corbusier, A. M. Cassandre, and the type house of Deberny et Peignot, and he later went on to win national acclaim for his Swiss travel posters. Directly after emigrating from Switzerland to the United States in 1936—where over the course of five decades he worked as a head designer for Knoll, a professor at Yale University, and a design consultant for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, among others—Matter began to produce what is now known to be the most important photographic record of Calder’s life and work.

Through the close collaboration between Cahiers d’Art and the Calder Foundation, the project has maintained the values and practices associated with the legacy of Christian Zervos, who built direct relationships with many of the most important artists of the 20th century and insisted always on the highest standards of production quality.

Acquired by the Swedish collector Staffan Ahrenberg in 2011, Cahiers d’Art refers at once to a publishing house, a gallery, and to a revue founded in 1926 by Christian Zervos at 14 rue du Dragon in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Cahiers d’Art editions are among the most remarkable publications of the 20th century and are much sought after by art collectors and book collectors worldwide.

By 1960, Zervos had published 97 issues of the Cahiers d’Art revue and more than 50 books, including monographs on El Greco, Matisse, Man Ray, and African and Mesopotamian Art, as well as collections of poems by Paul Éluard and André Breton. The most famous Cahiers d’Art publication to date is the Zervos Picasso Catalogue, which includes over 16,000 paintings and drawings by the artist. These 33 volumes are commonly called The Zervos and remain the definitive reference to Picasso’s work.


Calder by Matter – Standard Edition

Edited by Alexander S. C. Rower
Texts by Alexander S. C. Rower, Jed Perl & John Hill 300 pages, over 300 illustrations
30,5 x 30,5 cm
English version
75 Euros

Calder by Matter – Collector’s Edition

Limited Edition of 250 copies
Signed by Alexander Matter, the photographer’s son, and Alexander S. C. Rower, the artist’s grandson
Includes a special copy of the book bound in black fabric
Presented in a handmade aluminium box with a portfolio of six numbered gelatine silver prints 2,350 Euros
* Special offer price of 1,950 Euros (valid until 19 May 2022)

Available: from 19 February 2022 on and at the Cahiers d’Art bookshop.

Where: Cahiers d’Art, 14, rue du Dragon 75006 Paris

For more information visit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 102 other followers

%d bloggers like this: