Hello Again, Hello Girls: Part I

May 5, 2009

Hello Girls, LACMA's Alexander Calder sculpture, is installed in a quiet little dell just northeast of the Wilshire and Spaulding intersection. Though it's rather large—23 x 24 feet—the sculpture would be easy to miss if you weren't looking for it. Perhaps it only stopped me recently because of the sound emanating from its bush-shrouded location—water. I was pleasantly surprised; the Calder had been inactive for the past few weeks (and most of last year) due to complications with a circulation system that pumps water into jets that spray the sculpture, activating movement. It's been quite a journey—literally (including one conservator's trip to the Bellagio fountain in Vegas)—to bring Hello Girls back to life. More on that tomorrow. For now, we thought we'd share a selection of archival photos we unearthed of the artist installing the sculpture as well as a couple of fun tidbits: Did you know that LACMA's Art Museum Council commissioned Calder in 1964 to create the sculpture for the museum? Or that the name, Hello Girls, is a playful nod toward the mostly female council that brought the artist on board?

Allison Agsten