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Object with Red Discs

1931

Alexander Calder, Object with Red Discs, 1931. Painted steel rod, wire, wood, and sheet aluminum, 88 1/2 × 33 × 47 1/2 in. (224.8 × 83.8 × 120.7 cm) overall. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Mrs. Percy Uris Purchase Fund  86.49a-c
© 2010 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
In the 1930s, Alexander Calder began to make abstract sculpture, experimenting with counterbalance and movement. He cut simple geometric shapes out of sheet metal, attached the shapes to wires, and balanced them against counterweights (such as the wood balls in this work) on a supporting rod so they would move in the air. Object with Red Discs is one of the earliest of these air-driven sculptures. Its small, pyramid-shaped base, steel rod, and thin wire branches allow the sheet metal disks and wood balls to float and move in response to air currents or a touch.
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Alexander Calder, Object with Red Discs, 1931
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