Monday, June 29, 2015

Closley Looking at Alexander Calder's Circus! + Food: Eggs Sardou


at Calder's Circus

Calder's Circus. c.1926-31
by Alexander Calder (1898-1976)
Materials: Wire, wood, metal, cloth, yarn, paper, cardboard, leather, string, rubber, corks buttons, rhinestones, pipe cleaners, and bottle caps.
Currently being shown as a part of their permanent collection at the new Whitney Museum, New York City.

Alexander Calder originally trained as a mechanical engineer, but he was an aspiring artist  when he arrived in Paris in 1926. Working as a newspaper illustrator in New York the previous year, he had been sent to make sketches of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, sparking a lifelong interest. In Paris he began Calder's Circus, an ensemble work of dozens of small movable figures and props crafted from wire and found objects. adding acts over several years and transporting the miniature circus in several suitcases, he gave performances in his studios and at the homes of friends - including artist such as Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miro, and Fernand Leger and art patrons in Paris and New York. Calder acted as both stagehand and impresario, he constructed makeshift bleachers from wood crates and planks, handed out cymbals and other noisemakers, and cued up records on his gramophone. Narrating the acts in English and French, he manipulated acrobats, a bearded lady, a lion tamer and his lion, and other figures.

(Sources: Staff photos taken of the current exhibition and past photos of the artwork displayed at the old Whitney Museuem on Madison Ave. Other photos and videos courtesy of The Whitney Museum & Gagosian Gallery NYC.)

Eggs Sardou

From the distinctive food culture of New Orleans comes the French contribution to America's culinary arts. Lush egg dishes are high food in southern Louisiana and one of the best is reflected in Eggs Sardou. The dish was first served in Antoine's restaurant in 1908 at a dinner honoring visiting French playwright Victorien Sardou. This and other elaborate egg creations are still served at Brennan's and other restaurants.


  • artichoke & eggs
  • 8
    cooked artichoke bottoms(fresh or canned)
  • 8
    poached eggs
  • To poach eggs, heat large skillet of water to simmer over low heat.
  • Add 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar.
  • Crack eggs, one at a time, into measuring or custard cup.
  • Gently slide egg into water.
  • Cook until white is set, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove from water with slotted spoon.

  • For bechamel sauce, melt butter in small, heavy skillet over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour.
  • Gradually whisk in milk; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is smooth and thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Whisk in pepper sauce, salt and nutmeg.
  • Set aside.
  • Drop spinach into large saucepan of boiling water.
  • Cook until wilted and tender, about 2 minutes.
  • Rinse in ice water to stop cooking; drain until very dry, squeezing out extra water.
  • Set aside.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add green onions; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes.
  • Stir in spinach; cook 2 minutes.
  • Add bechamel sauce, salt and pepper; stir well.
  • Set aside and keep warm.
  • For hollandaise sauce, combine yolks, lemon juice, Worcestershire and red pepper in top of double boiler set over pan of simmering water.
  • Whisk egg mixture constantly until mixture thickens and becomes shiny, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Slowly pour melted butter into egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Whisk in wine; salt to taste.
  • Divide spinach among four plates.
  • Top with 2 warm artichoke bottoms.
  • Top each artichoke with poached egg.
  • Ladle hollandaise sauce over; serve immediately.

Until later,

ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness through the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved. Concept, Original Art, Text & Photographs are © Copyright 2015 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. Any gallery, event, museum, fair or festival photographs were taken with permission. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

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