Berlin Art@Site Alexander Calder Köpfe und Schwanz, Têtes et Queue

Alexander Calder


Köpfe und Schwanz, Têtes et Queue

Reichpietschufer 48
Das Stahl-Stabile steht auf einer aus 25 grauen quadratischen Granitplatten bestehenden Fläche. Das Objekt wurde aus mattgrau lackierten Stahlplatten zusammengesetzt. Diese Platten wurden dabei miteinander verschweißt und vernietet.
Sieben Standfüße stützen die Skulptur, sieben Spitzen ragen in die Höhe, von denen eine, die höchste Spitze als „Schwanz' von einer waagerecht liegenden annähernd runden Platte bekrönt wird. Alle anderen Spitzen (die „Köpfe') haben am oberen Ende senkrechtstehende kleinere runde Platten. Das Stabile hat eine offene Kontur mit geschwungenen Linien (Susanne Kähler).
Die 5,5 Meter hohe Stahlskulptur von Alexander Calder wurde 1965 auf der Terrasse vor der Neuen Nationalgalerie an der Potsdamer Strasse aufgestellt. Weitere Informationen zum Künstler unter:
Calder's sculptural work can be broken down into two categories: "mobiles" and "stabiles." Mobiles are sculptures that utilize balance and movement, and have also been called "kinetic art." A mobile usually has a number of objects that hang from a single string, and the artist has arranged them so that their weights balance each other based on how they are positioned.
Tetes et Queue, however, is considered a "stabile." It's stable and stationary, so it's the opposite of something that is mobile and moving. Calder explained the difference between stabiles and mobiles this way: "You have to walk around a stabile or through it - a mobile dances in front of you."
By making a large sculpture, Calder is presenting the viewer with an object that cannot be viewed in just one way. Unlike viewing a painting on the wall, where one stands in front of it to view it, the stabiles forces the viewer to assess the sculpture from multiple vantage points. The sculpture appears one way when viewed from 20 feet away, it appears different when viewed from 5 feet away, different again when underneath it, different again when viewing from the other side.

H.W. Janson, Anthony Janson (2004):
One important development which Surrealism produced in the early 1930s were the mobile sculptures of the American Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976).
Called mobiles for short, they are delicately balanced constructions of metal wire, hinged together and weighted so as to move with the slightest breath of air.
Unpredictable and ever-changing, such mobiles incorporate the fourth dimension as an essential element.
Kinetic sculpture had been conceived first by the Constructivists. Their influence is evident in Calder’s earliest mobiles, which were motor-driven and tended toward abstract geometric forms.
Calder was also affected early on by Mondrian, whose use of primary colors he adopted. Like Mondrian, he initially thought of his constructions as self-contained miniature universes.
But it was his contact with Surrealism that made him realize the poetic possibilities of 'natural' rather than fully controlled movement. He borrowed biomorphic shapes from Miró and began to conceive of mobiles as counterparts to organic structures: flowers on flexible stems, foliage quivering in the breeze, marine animals floating in the sea. Infinitely responsive to their enironment, they seem amazingly alive.