Art@Site Alexander Calder Universe

Alexander Calder



Willis Tower
Alexander Calder (/ˈkɔːldər/; August 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976) was an American sculptor known as the originator of the mobile, a type of moving sculpture made with delicately balanced or suspended shapes that move in response to touch or air currents.
Calder’s monumental stationary sculptures are called stabiles. He also produced wire figures, which are like drawings made in space, and notably a miniature circus work that was performed by the artist.

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.