Introduction
Alexander Calder (; 1898–1976) was an American sculptor who is best known for his colorful, whimsical abstract public sculptures and his innovative mobiles (kinetic sculptures powered by motors or air currents) which embraced chance in their aesthetic. Born into a family of artists, Calder's work first gained attention in Paris in the 1930s and was soon championed by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, resulting in a retrospective exhibition in 1943. Major retrospectives were also held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1964) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1974). Calder's work is in many permanent collections, most notably in the Whitney Museum of American Art, but also the Guggenheim Museum; the Museum of Modern Art; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Centre Georges Pompidou. He produced many large public works, including .125 (at JFK Airport, 1957), Pittsburgh (Carnegie International prize winner 1958, Pittsburgh International Airport) Spirale (UNESCO in Paris, 1958), Flamingo and Universe (both in Chicago, 1974), and Mountains and Clouds (Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., 1976). Although primarily known for his sculpture, Calder also created paintings and prints, miniatures (such as his famous Cirque Calder), children's book illustrations, theater set design, jewelry design, tapestries and rugs, and political posters. Calder was honored by the US Postal Service with a set of five 32-cent stamps in 1998, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously in 1977, after refusing to receive it from Gerald Ford one year earlier in protest of the Vietnam War.
Wikidata
Q151580
Information from Wikipedia, made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
Introduction
Calder graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1919 with a degree in mechanical engineering. After taking classes at the Arts Students League, he became a freelance artist and illustrator, and published a book titled Animal Sketching. In the 1920s, Calder began traveling to Paris, where he was exposed to modernist tendencies in art. In 1930, after visiting Piet Mondrian's studio, where he was impressed by the studio environment, he began to create Comment on works: abstract, moving constructions, coined “mobiles” by Marcel Duchamp in 1931, for which he is most known. From the 1930s onward, Calder divided his time between trips abroad and his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, and as his commissions grew more frequent, his mobiles became increasingly gigantic. Examples are Flamingo, the stabile at Federal Center Plaza in Chicago, and L’Araignée rouge, at the Rond Point de La Défense Métro station in Paris.. Comment on works: abstract
Nationalities
American, French
Gender
Male
Roles
Artist, Designer, Tapestry designer, Illustrator, Painter, Sculptor
Names
Alexander Calder, Sandy Calder, Calder
Ulan
500007824
Information from Getty’s Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License