Meanwhile, the sheer breadth and whimsy of the Alexander Calder retrospective will lighten the heart of even the most devout curmudgeon. Beautiful and uncomplicated balance is the unifying thread that runs through the vast range of art Calder completed in his lifetime.
Rich color field paintings compete in their simple brilliance with exquisite silver jewelry, the opposing weight and weightlessness of Calder's stabiles, and the complex charm of his crisscrossing mobiles. In Calder's film The Circus we find the artist not only constructing a miniature big top and the characters who inhabit it -- like the lion and the strong man -- but performing the show with unbridled kid abandon. Oh, what a little wind would do to up the ante of this exhibit!
"New Work by Evelyne Koeppel" continues through Nov. 30 at Refusalon, 20 Hawthorne (at Howard), S.F.; call 546-0158. "Alexander Calder: 1898-1976" continues through Dec. 1 at the SFMOMA, 151 Third St. (at Mission); call 357-4000.
-- Marcy Freedman