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Alexander Calder Sculptures

By Edited Oct 24, 2016 0 0

Alexander Calder was an American artist and sculptor.  He has created toys, jewelry and paintings, but is most known for his mobile and stable sculpture.  Alexander Calder sculptures have been honored wherever they are put up.

Alexander Calder was born in 1898 and had an impressive pedigree.  He his father and grandfather were both well-known sculptors and his mother was an honored painter.  Calder made is first work at the age of four, and throughout his childhood his parents made sure that he had a studio in the basement for him to explore ways of expressing himself in art.

Upon graduating high school, Alexander Calder had civilian military training, then attended school, graduating in 1919 with a degree.  He worked for a few years as an engineer, then a mechanic on a ship.  He worked as a timekeeper in a logging camp in the state of Washington, but the scenery inspire him so much he ended up turning back to his life as an artist and moved to New York to pursue it. 

Calder studied at an art school in New York, then moved to Paris in 1926.  He met many artists in France, and his wife while traveling between the two countries in 1929.  The two settled in the United States in 1933.

Calder loved and was adept at the mediums know as wire sculpture and kinetic art.  Wire sculpture is like the jewelry made by wrappings of wires, sometimes including gemstones into the piece.  Kinetic art is art that is has part of the art in motion, either all the time, or by the introduction of energy by the observer or wind.   Calder made hanging pieces that balanced from wires, and were given the name of “mobiles” fellow artist.

When Alexander Calder realized the impact his mobiles had, he and his wife continued to make these fun whimsical pieces.  He also later made large pieces consisting of large pieces of sheet metal bolted together, still aiming for the fun quality of his mobiles.

Alexander Calder and his wife lived their life in Connecticut until his death in 1976.  He was well-known throughout the later parts of his life and had pieces commissioned and displayed all over the world, as well as showings in major museums. 

Red Mobile

Red Mobile
Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Calder-redmobile.jpg

Made by Calder in 1956, this piece is made of wire and sheet metal, and is an example of his popular mobiles.


Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wfm_calder.jpg

Made in 1953, this picture shows the piece being displayed in the sculpture garden at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 2002.    Empennage refers to the tail assembly of an airplane, so that might have been where Calder received his inspiration for this piece. 

Le Tamanoir

Le Tamanoir

Over 10 feet high, this sculpture in Rotterdam, Netherlands depicts an anteater.  Alexander Calder preferred to use abstract depictions in his art.  This piece has been in place since 1965.

Man, Three Disks

Man, 3 Disks(69061)
Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Calder-montreal.jpg

Of the approximately 20 large sculptures that Alexander Calder has done around the world, this one in Montreal is the only one that is unpainted.  Over 70 feet tall, this sculpture was put in place for the 1967 World's Fair, held in Montreal.  Today it is valued at over 50 million dollars, and is probably the highest value piece of are in Canada.

Alexander Calder changed the way the world looked at sculpture and are and Alexander Calder sculptures are considered priceless to those cities lucky enough to have one.



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