We have been fans of the American-Japanese brand Postalco for many years now, also including some of their incredible products in our selection for Our Current Obsessions Nº 1 – NOIR. Last month the inspirational people of Postalco presented an extraordinary new collection of stationery and leather items inspired by the work of the artist Alexander Calder and developed in close collaboration with the Calder Foundation. Postalco was founded in Brooklyn in 2000, but soon moved to Tokyo, where they produce all their products from traditional Japanese craftsmanship, with every colorway of this particular collection carefully selected from those found in the artist’s work. After a visit to the Calder Foundation archives in New York, which contains more than 26.000 historic photographs, dozens of films, and over 130.000 documents covering all aspects of the artist’s life, Postalco discovered the artist’s lesser-known works, including jewelry, textiles, and domestic objects. Inspired by the way Calder erased boundaries between established genres, the resulting collection offers a unique glimpse into the prolific life of one of the most important artists of the twentieth century in an utmost elegant manner.
The 15-piece collection by Postalco includes a goatskin and pressed-cotton fabric Travel Wallet, Cardholder, and Tool Box printed with Calder-designed graphic icons from 1965–66. The signature Postalco Snap Pad, featuring a drawing circa 1953, encourages each user to embrace his or her creativity. In keeping with their namesake, Postalco has chosen to feature an assembly drawing of Calder’s 1946 The S-Shaped Vine on the cover of a notebook. Intrigued by the limitations on parcel size imposed by the U.S. Postal Service, Calder created this large-scale mobile on the occasion of his premiere postwar exhibition in Paris at Galerie Louis Carré as a collapsible work that could be reassembled onsite according to the specifications in the drawing. The notebook’s pages are interspersed with historic photographs by famed Swiss graphic designer and photographer Herbert Matter, along with drawings and textile designs by Calder, and writings both by and about the artist.
The Calder Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 by Alexander S. C. Rower and the Calder family, is dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, preserving, and interpreting the art and archives of Calder and is charged with an unmatched collection of his works. The Foundation’s projects include collaborating on exhibitions and publications, organizing and maintaining the Calder archives, examining works attributed to Calder, and cataloguing the artist’s works. The Calder Foundation’s programming includes its own exhibitions, lectures, performances, and events on Calder as well as on contemporary artists, including those whose work the Foundation supports through its biannual Calder Prize and the Atelier Calder residency program in Saché, France.
Next to the collection, the Postalco shop in Tokyo also presents an exhibition recreating parts of the Calder Foundation’s archive, complete with images of works that have inspired each product in the collection and historical documents related to Calder’s wire sculpture, jewelry, domestic objects, and his celebrated Cirque Calder (1926–31). The exhibition will also feature a small theater in the Shibuya shop screening a selection of Calder’s historic films.
The installation will be on view until the 19th of January 2015.
For more information and to buy the extraordinary collection online see here.