Skip to main content

Alexander Calder:
The Paris Years, 1926–1933
Oct 16, 2008–Feb 15, 2009

When Alexander "Sandy" Calder (1898–1976) arrived in Paris in 1926, he aspired to be a painter; when he left in 1933, he had evolved into the artist we know today: an international figure and defining force in twentieth-century sculpture. In these seven years Calder's fluid, animating drawn line transformed from two dimensions to three, from ink and paint to wire, and his radical innovations included open form wire caricature portraits, a bestiary of wire animals, his beloved and critically important miniature Circus(1926–31), abstract and figurative sculptures, and his paradigm-shifting "mobiles."

The Whitney has the largest body of work by Alexander Calder in any museum and is proud to be the exclusive American venue for this landmark exhibition, co-organized with the Centre Pompidou.

Sponsored by CIT.

The exhibition and catalogue are made possible through a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional support is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen, Faith and Philip Geier, The Florence Gould Foundation, The Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, The Lipman Family Foundation, Julie and William Obering, Dathel and Tommy Coleman, and The Philip A. and Lynn Straus Foundation.

Opening events are sponsored by Sotheby's.


View all

Shop the Exhibition

Visit the online shop to buy Whitney catalogues, exhibition-inspired gifts, and more.

Shop now

In the News

"Few exhibitions have focused so intently on one artist’s child within."
--The New York Times

Slideshow: "Calder at the Whitney"
--The New York Times

"You'll smile through the whole exhibition"
--Christian Science Monitor

"one of the year’s most appealing catalogs."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Happily, adults are just as likely to be entertained and enthralled by this kid-friendly show"
--International Herald Tribune

"brings the young Calder and the giddy ferment of his artistic circle to life."
--The New York Times

"So many people have said that seeing _Calder's Circus_ triggered their love of art and museums."
--Time Out New York Kids

COVID-19 vaccination and face coverings are not required, but strongly recommended for all visitors. Plan your visit and review our visitor policies.



A 30-second online art project:
Sara Ludy, Tumbleweeds

Learn more

Learn more about Sunrise/Sunset on