ArtPrize Piece Must Come Down Early

Posted at 7:46 AM, Sep 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-27 08:09:07-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- Only a week into the competition and one artist must remove his piece from the Calder at Vandenberg Plaza.

The piece entitled “Fleurs et Riviere” will come down Friday at noon. Artist David Dodde says the piece is a tribute to Alexander Calder and was created out of magnets so it doesn’t hurt the existing piece already there.

Dodde says there were rumblings about the piece from the beginning and the Grand Rapids city officials asked him to remove his piece to keep the peace.

Mayor George Heartwell released a statement saying, “Our nearly half-century relationship with Alexander Calder and, following his death, the Alexander Calder Foundation, is too important to risk by allowing this art installation to continue. While many – myself included – initially saw this installation as whimsical and attractive, further reflection on my part together with conversations with art curators convinced me that this is an inappropriate treatment of our Calder ‘Stabile.’”

ArtPrize also released a statement: “We see this as an important debate between that of the Calder Foundation, whose role it is to preserve and promote the body of work by Alexander Calder, and a living artist, who is appropriating work that currently exists in the public space, and remixing it to create something new that challenges our perceptions. We see this as useful to understand contemporary art and its role in our lives.”