Calder moved to Paris in 1926 in search of new experiences and people who would help him develop as an artist. Paris is a center of artistic activity and a great city for a young artist to live in. While in Paris, working with some of the same materials that he used in his childhood such as wood, metal, and wire, Calder began making sculpture. Wire, in particular, became one of Calder’s favorite mediums.
In 1930, Calder visited the studio of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. The colored cardboard shapes pinned to Mondrian’s studio wall inspired Calder to start making abstract sculpture. He also thought that it would be amazing if the abstract shapes could move! Calder invented a moving sculpture that hung in space. His friend, the artist Marcel Duchamp called it a “mobile.”
Around the same time, he produced sculptures that did not move, known as “stabiles.” Throughout his long career, Calder also created works that were used as stage sets in performances and exhibited in public spaces.
“My fingers always seem busier than my mind.”
“I want to make things that are fun to look at.”