Alexander Calder
1898–1976

Introduction

Alexander Calder (; July 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976) was an American sculptor known both for his innovative mobiles (kinetic sculptures powered by motors or air currents) that embrace chance in their aesthetic, his static "stabiles", and his monumental public sculptures. Calder preferred not to analyze his work, saying, "Theories may be all very well for the artist himself, but they shouldn't be broadcast to other people."

Wikidata identifier

Q151580

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Introduction

Calder graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1919 with a degree in mechanical engineering. After taking classes at the Arts Students League, he became a freelance artist and illustrator, and published a book titled Animal Sketching. In the 1920s, Calder began traveling to Paris, where he was exposed to modernist tendencies in art. In 1930, after visiting Piet Mondrian's studio, where he was impressed by the studio environment, he began to create Comment on works: abstract, moving constructions, coined “mobiles” by Marcel Duchamp in 1931, for which he is most known. From the 1930s onward, Calder divided his time between trips abroad and his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, and as his commissions grew more frequent, his mobiles became increasingly gigantic. Examples are Flamingo, the stabile at Federal Center Plaza in Chicago, and L’Araignée rouge, at the Rond Point de La Défense Métro station in Paris.. Comment on works: abstract

Country of birth

United States

Roles

Artist, designer, illustrator, lithographer, painter, sculptor, tapestry designer

ULAN identifier

500007824

Names

Alexander Calder, Calder, Sandy Calder

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 28, 2024.