A Look Into the Work of Alexander Calder

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Alexander Calder a.k.a Sandy was an American Sculptor whose name became most famous for his invention of a particular form of kinetic sculpture: 'the mobiles'. Although not limited to this specific way of doing sculpture, Calder excelled at it the most, creating stunningly beautiful hanging monuments. Both his father and grandfather were also sculptors who were famous themselves, while his mother was a portrait painter. Calder's very first sculpture of a clay elephant was completed in 1902. His family home in Pasadena, California held a cellar which eventually became his very first art studio. in 1909 Calder created one of his very first kinetic sculptures; a duck made out of sheet brass which rocked back and forth when touched. Calder eventually went on to study Mechanical at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. Later on in his youth, Calder decided to move to New York and become a real visual artist. He enrolled at the Art Students' League and worked for the National Police Gazette. One of his assignments was to sketch a Ringling Brothers' Circus, and that project got him deeply fascinated with the subject. in 1962, Calder moved to Paris and began trying his creativity at toy making. It was there he made his Cirque Calder a portable circus which filled up about five suitcases. It allowed him to give performances similar to a real circus enactment. This gave rise to his popularity as a toymaker and unconventional artist. In 1929, Calder held his very fist solo show at the Galerie Billiet in Paris. This consisted mostly of wire sculptures he had fashioned into original designs. In 1931, he eventually moved into creating more aero-inclined sculptures, gaining the kinetic energy they needed by utilizing natural flowing air currents from the surroundings. Duchamp eventually called these curious works "mobiles"; a French Pun meaning both "motive" and "mobile". The 1950's led Calder to produce more monument-sized works to quench his thirst for creativity. Most of his works rose to about 24 meters tall and some employed his kinetic style of motion as well. After completing many notable works, Calder published his autobiography in 1966. One of his famous works was WTC Stabile (also known as Bent Propeller) which was stationed in front of the World Trade Center's North Tower in America (1971)

Additional Resources Can be Found at the The Calder Foundation


{ Nina Winters } at: July 29, 2011 at 9:47 AM said...

Thank you for what you are doing here! I am a sculptor, and seeing a site dedicated to it is refreshing!

If you ever have a moment, I would love for you to visit my blog or my site:



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