Art@Site Alexander Calder Homme Montreal

Alexander Calder



Parc Jean-Drapeau
helping each other
After I walked three times around this artwork clarity emerges out of the chaos of lines and spaces.
The three circles tell me that these are three human figures. A slim figure with a sympathetic little face is reaching up. A small figure seems to support the big figure. The thirth figure has a large circle and is moving forward forcefully. These ‘persons’ seem to help each other: one is hatching a plan, the other is supporting and the third goes on the attack.
These three characters encounter each other and merge into a triangle with sharp edges. With this triangle I think of a (fighting) airplane, because of the gray pointed plates which are attached with nails.
And then there is the form which slit the three human figures. I see two strong legs and a sharp shape. With this slitting I feel thuggery.
In Trois Disques by Alexander Calder I see two worlds; one is a world where humans are helping each other, another world with hard and sharp-edged metal objects.
Is this artwork a warning, an admonition, a reminder? It’s up to us to tell.
By Theo,

elkaar helpen
Drie keer loop ik rondom dit kunstwerk voor helderheid ontstaat uit de chaos van lijnen en vlakken.
Uit de drie cirkels lees ik af dat dit drie mensfiguren zijn. Een slanke figuur reikt omhoog en heeft een klein sympathiek kopje. Een andere figuur is klein en lijkt de grote figuur te ondersteunen. De derde figuur heeft een grote cirkel en beweegt krachtig naar voren. Deze ‘mensen’ lijken elkaar te helpen: de ene bedenkt een plan, de andere ondersteunt en de derde gaat in de aanval.
Deze drie figuren ontmoeten elkaar en versmelten tot één driehoek met scherpe vormen. Bij deze driehoek denk ik aan een (gevechts-) vliegtuig, door de grijze puntig platen die met nagels verbonden zijn.
Dan is er nog de vorm die de drie mensfiguren doorsnijdt. Ik zie twee sterke benen en een scherpe vorm. Bij dit doorsnijden voel ik gewelddadigheid.
Bij Trois Disques van Alexander Calder zie ik twee werelden; één wereld van mensen die elkaar helpen, één wereld met harde en scherpe metalen objecten.
Zou dit kunstwerk een waarschuwing, een aansporing, een herinnering zijn? Wij mogen het zeggen!
Door Theo,
Alexander Calder’s sculpture Trois Disques has an abstract form, the arachnoid structure – asymmetrical but balanced – which creates plays of shadow and light that evoke dance movements. The sculpture symbolizes human progress and power.
The artwork is composed of five arches made of unpolished stainless steel. The overlapping arches stand on six slender posts whose tops are adorned with two points and three disks.
At the request of the International Nickel Company of Canada, it is not painted, which also makes it the only example of an unpainted stabile. Therefore, Trois disques shows off the raw material, the elements of assembly, and the traces of its fabrication in a frankly industrial aesthetic. In short, human labour and genius are illustrated in Calder’s imposing sculpture.
Calder's sculptural work can be broken down into two cate"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. Calder is famous for his mobiles, and we'll delve into those at a later time.
L'Homme, 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 sculpture so large ("L'homme" is approximately 80 feet tall), 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, L'homme 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.