Alexander Calder Masterpieces Grace Mansur Gavriel’s Latest Bags
The luxury handbag company is translating the famed artist’s iconic designs for its stylish accessories
“We love Alexander Calder’s work for his purity of form,” says Floriana Gavriel, cofounder of the luxury handbag company Mansur Gavriel. “His expression is both very delicate and bold at the same time. We often play with this line between bold and soft, masculine and feminine, nostalgic versus modern.”
Launching on October 2 exclusively at Matches, the new limited-edition collection is timed to coincide with Frieze London and perfectly melds constrained artistry with irresistible elegance. Cofounders Rachel Mansur and Gavriel utilized their relationship with Hauser & Wirth to collaborate with the Calder Foundation as well as the artist’s grandson Sandy Rower. Four of the brand’s classic bag silhouettes will be available with one of four iconic Calder artworks painted on the exterior. “We were very inspired by his prints and could have worked with many different artworks,” Mansur tells Galerie. “In the end we liked the idea of a bolder statement and combined his iconography in conjunction with our classic silhouettes.”
Calder’s appreciation of color, line, shape, and texture is mirrored in Mansur Gavriel’s sculptural bucket bag, distinguished attaché, refined tote, and geometric cross-body. Each style is composed of vegetable-tanned leather and enhanced with one of the artist’s most recognized works, such as Vertical Foliage (1941). “For us, Calder’s work expresses a beautiful and elevated aesthetic message that is also easy to understand and relate to,” says Gavriel. “As creatives we are very interested in this manner of expression and look to achieve similar qualities in the objects we create.”
A number of exhibitions of Calder’s work are currently on view around the globe. In the new show “Calder-Picasso” at the Museo Picasso Málaga, the American artist’s pieces are presented alongside works by Pablo Picasso (through February 2, 2020). Solo shows are currently at New York’s Pace Gallery (through October 26), Centro Botín (through November 3), and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (through May 3, 2020).
“We love how he expressed the beauty of kinetics and air, and how these simple elements interact with his mobiles and sculptures,” says Mansur. “We are also very interested in site-specific artworks and love to present our own products within narrative environments we create, such as our stores or fashion week presentations.”
The collaboration with the Calder Foundation is the follow-up to last spring’s artist series, which featured the work of London painter Marc Camille Chaimowicz on the same series of handbags. “Our first artist collaboration, with U.K.-based artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz, was truly an honor and delight; we find his art tremendously beautiful,” says Mansur. “Alexander Calder is a powerful figure to follow with. We are very in awe of the body of work he created over his lifetime. We will continue doing art collaborations and hope to have them either annually or seasonally. More to come!”