Alexander Calder, whose illustrious career spanned much of the 20th century, is the most acclaimed and influential sculptor of our time. Born in 1898, in a family of celebrated, though more classically trained artists, Calder utilized his innovative genius to profoundly change the course the course of modern art. He began by developing a new method of sculpting by bending and twisting wire and essentially ''drew'' three-dimensional figures in space. He is renowned for the invention the mobile, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony.
Calder worked in a time of artistic upheaval and dared to concern his aesthetic revolution with a somewhat taboo topic in the art world: fun. His prolific and passionate output of paintings, lithographs, sculpture and toys brought with it a humor and sense of play unlike any that came before. He ignored the formal structure of what art could be. Called Sandy by all who knew him, he loved to play with things and throughout his life created thousands of objects.
His first New York exhibition was in 1928 and along with subsequent exhibitions in Paris and Berlin, Calder gain international recognition as a significant artist. Working in the abstract style, in 1932 he exhibited his first moving sculpture in an exhibition organized by Marcel Duchamp, who coined the word ''mobile''. From the 40's on, Calder's work were mainly large-scale outdoor sculptures that have been placed in virtually every major city in the Western world.
Being influenced by Mondrian and Miro, Calder's paintings exhibit the same sense of buoyancy, wit and whimsy as his sculpture and convey a sense of movement through the uses of a single, unbroken line. The shape, color and abstraction employed by Calder capture genuine living movement and are imbued with a consistent joy.
Alexander Calder is a giant in modern art and had a long, prolific career producing more that 16,000 works of art, an average of one work a day for 50 years. Calder died in 1976, a few weeks after a retrospective at the Whitney Museum.