ALEXANDER CALDER (1898-1976)

ALEXANDER CALDER Alexander Calder was a prolific American artist who infused his artwork with a wit and whimsy inspired by his early fascination with the circus. His childhood hobby of crafting objects from found materials initially led to a degree in Engineering and Applied Kinetics. However, only four years later in 1923, Calder enrolled in the Art Students League in New York, and began his first freelance art job in 1925. In doing so, Calder followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who were classically-trained and practicing artists.

Calder’s Circus (Whitney Museum of American Art), the small-scale model of a circus involving wire, wood, cloth, and leather string, among other materials, is an early example of this interest and represents one of Calder’s first wire “drawings”. While many artists made contour line drawings on paper, Calder used wire to draw three-dimensional people, creatures, and things into space. Eventually, these three-dimensional figurative drawings evolved into more abstract forms, which would become known as “mobiles”.

In 1932, Calder exhibited his first moving sculpture in an exhibition organized by Marcel Duchamp, who coined the term "mobile”. These kinetic sculptures are composed of wire counter-balanced with thin metal fins that are set in motion by random air currents to create natural movement. In addition to these sculptures, he created “stabiles”, or static sculptures, which are now installed in major museum collections around the world. His creation and elaboration of the mobile and stabile are his most lasting contributions to the history of art.

ALEXANDER CALDER
The Palm Tree
oil on canvas
39 ½ x 29 ¾ in.
ALEXANDER CALDER
Red Versus Yellow
sheet metal, wire and paint
21 7/8 x 23 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.
ALEXANDER CALDER
Card Players
gouache on paper
29 x 42 in.
ALEXANDER CALDER
Woman with Square Umbrella
wood
19 x 6 x 6 in.
ALEXANDER CALDER
Signalisations
gouache and ink on paper
30 x 43 3/8 in.
ALEXANDER CALDER
Vive
gouache and ink on paper
30 x 43 3/8 in
ALEXANDER CALDER
Mickey Mouse
gouache and ink on paper
30 x 43 3/8 in.
ALEXANDER CALDER
Aux Clous
gouache and ink on paper
30 x 21 1/4 in
ALEXANDER CALDER
Bug-Eyed Beastie
gouache and ink on paper
29 1/4 x 43 in.
ALEXANDER CALDER
Le Grand Rouge
gouache and ink on paper
43 3/8 x 30 in.
ALEXANDER CALDER
L' Envolee
gouache and ink on paper
43 3/8 x 30 in.
ALEXANDER CALDER
Cercles
gouache and ink on paper
30 3/4 x 22 1/2 in.
ALEXANDER CALDER
Compositions with Faces and Forms
ink on paper
15 1/2 x 23 in. ea.
ALEXANDER CALDER
El Circulo de Piedra
gouache and ink on paper
20 1/2 x 15 1/2 in.
ALEXANDER CALDER
Quilt
color lithograph
22 x 29 1/2 in.
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