New York Art@Site Alexander Calder Saurien

Alexander Calder



Madison Avenue, 57th Street
This artwork has everything
The lines are drawn with a strong hand, but the curves are not perfectly circular. Is this case, the artwork would become static and predictable. The arched lines makes me think of a cat with a bolt back and hisses.
I associate the triangular shapes with a sword of a shark, but still I feel no fear. This is because the lines are straight and all have a different shape. Saurien by Alexander Calder is in middle between a concrete image and an abstract object.
The color of the artwork is signal-red but still I don’t hear an alarm. The red color has no focus and thus doesn’t point on a specific danger. The entire object is red and that’s why I understand that this is an aesthetic wink. Saurien by Alexander Calder has everything: has perfect lines, is not predictable, is exciting and gives happy.
By Theo,

Dit kunstwerk heeft alles
De lijnen zijn getrokken met een rechte hand, maar de bogen zijn niet perfect cirkelvormig. Dan zou het kunstwerk statisch en voorspelbaar zijn geworden. De gebogen lijnen doen mij denken aan een kat die de rug bolt en sist.
De driehoekige vormen associeer ik met een zwaard van een haai, maar toch jagen ze mij geen angst aan. Dit komt omdat de lijnen recht en allen een verschillende vorm hebben. Saurien van Alexander Calder houdt het midden tussen een concrete voorstelling en een abstract object.
De kleur van het kunstwerk is signaalrood maar toch schrik ik er niet van. De rode kleur heeft geen focus en daarmee is geen specifiek gevaar aangeduid. Het gehele voorwerp is rood en daardoor snap je dat dit een esthetisch knipoogje is. Saurien van Alexander Calder heeft alles: heeft perfecte lijnen, is niet voorspelbaar, is spannend en maakt vrolijk.
By Theo,
These natural spirits can be embodied in a more abstract mode. Alexander Calder applied his unique sense of organic form to the modern medium of riveted steel sculpture. Look how beautifully the angles of the Calder 'Saurien' are reflected in the angles of the buildings across the street from it, particularly the faceted glass LVMH building, second from the right in the top photo below. (The LVMH building was constructed a quarter century after the sculpture was installed.)
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.
Saurien, 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.