Dancers and Sphere (archives N° A00280), 1938
[New York World's Fair 1939, maquette]
H21 x W25 x D11 in.
16 by 14 in.
Curly Star and Moon, 1974
29 3/8 x 43 1/8 in
Alexander Calder, born in 1898 in Lawnton, Pennsylvania, was a sculptor and painter, but is best known as the inventor of the mobile.
Calder studied engineering from 1915 to 1919 at the Stevens Institute of Technology. He attended the Art Students League in New York City from 1923-1925 and started working for the magazine "National Police Gazette" as of 1924. In 1926 he moved to Paris and continued his studies at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. This is where the design of his small wire figures began and the sprouting of his artistic practice in sculpture. By 1927, Caldler developed a complete miniature circus and in the spring held performances that many Parisian artist attended. In 1930 he joined the artists group "Abstraction-Création", where he dealt with and conversated over concepts and ideals of abstraction.
Calder?s first mobile and abstract wire sculptures were inspired by a visit to the Paris observatory, which is when Marcel Duchamp termed his sculptures to be "Mobile[s]".
Alexander Calder "Mobiles" were shown at the Galerie Vignon in Paris in 1932. The "Mobiles" were Calder?s most prefered form of art. The precisely balanced constructions, moved either by a natural force, wind, or by touch became more complex and abstract over the years. Early in Calder?s career he constructed very few sculptures that moved by a small motor.
Alexander Calder also created "immobiles[s]" which were monumental constructions of sheet metal, that Jean Arp termed to be "Stabile[s]".
He passed away in 1976 in New York.