Alexander Calder
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  • 1. Alexander Calder “My whole theory about art is the disparity (difference) that exists between form, masses and movement.”
  • 2. Alexander Calder, born in 1898, began his career as anengineer before realising his passion for design andenrolling in the Art Students League in New York.
  • 3. His work was heavily influenced by the abstract styleand after being invited to join Abstract-creation, aninfluencial group of artists, he discovered his ability insculpture which he practised by making animals andprops that were moveable for use in his own miniturecircus.
  • 4. In 1931 he began work on his first suspended movingsculptures, originally moved by a system of cranks andmotors, which were called mobiles (meaning both motionand motive). Later these mobiles would be powered by thewind.
  • 5. Alexander Calders hanging mobiles were mostly madeof aluminum sheet metal, and steel wire. He used handtools such as wire cutters, snips, pliers, files, and othermetal working tools to make them. Sometimes he wouldjoin pieces together by using metal rivets, a type of boltor pin.
  • 6. Calder constructed his mobiles by first cutting outrandom abstract shapes from the sheet metal, filing theedges to smooth them, and then laying out andarranging the pieces in different patterns until he foundone that he liked. Then he would connect the piecestogether with wire, starting with the bottom pieces first,and then moving upwards adding new "branches",carefully balancing each new piece as he went along.
  • 7. Think about what shapes can you recognize in the work of Calder andwhich feelings, emotions or sensation you get from his art/design.