Alexander Calder


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Alexander Calder

  1. 1. Alexander Calder (July 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976)
  2. 2. Alexander Calder was an American sculptor best known as the originator of the mobile, a type of kinetic sculpture made with delicately balanced or suspended components which move in response to motor power or air currents. By contrast, Calder’s stationary sculptures are called stabiles. He also produced numerous wire figures, notably for a miniature circus.
  3. 3. Alexander "Sandy" Calder was born in Lawnton, Pennsylvania on July 22, 1898. Both his father and grandfather were career sculptors in Pennsylvania. Calder began sculpting small clay animals and making jewelry for his sister’s dolls. After seeing the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on January 1, 1907, Calder began to use wire to make his sculptures.
  4. 4. In 1915, Calder decided to study mechanical engineering, and enrolled at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and excelled in mathematics. Calder received a degree from Stevens in 1919. For the next several years, he held a variety of engineering jobs, including working as a hydraulic engineer and a draughtsman for the New York Edison Company. In June 1922, Calder found work as a mechanic on the passenger ship H. F. Alexander.
  5. 5. While the ship sailed from San Francisco to New York City, Calder worked on deck off the Guatemalan Coast and witnessed both the sun rising and the moon setting on opposite horizons. He described in his autobiography, "It was early one morning on a calm sea, off Guatemala, when over my couch—a coil of rope—I saw the beginning of a fiery red sunrise on one side and the moon looking like a silver coin on the other."
  6. 6. Calder’s studio in Paris, 1931.
  7. 7. Miniature Circus
  8. 8. June 1929, while traveling by boat from Paris to New York, Calder met his future wife, Louisa James (19051996). They married in 1931.
  9. 9. While in Paris, Calder met and became friends with a number of avant-garde artists, including Jean Arp, Joan Miró and Marcel Duchamp.
  10. 10. Mobiles
  11. 11. The National Gallery
  12. 12. Stabiles
  13. 13. Flamingo, Chicago, 1974
  14. 14. Mercury Fountain
  15. 15. Mercury Fountain (Maquette)
  16. 16. Wire Sculptures
  17. 17. Paintings
  18. 18. The 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL race car created by American sculptor Alexander Calder became the first piece in an exclusive and unique collection: the BMW art cars.
  19. 19. Jewelry Calder created 1,800 pieces of jewelry over the course of his career, many of them as gifts for friends and relatives. Several pieces reflect Calder's fascination with art from Africa and other continents. They were mostly made of brass and steel, with bits of ceramic, wood and glass. Calder rarely used solder; when he needed to join strips of metal, he linked them with loops, bound them with snippets of wire or fashioned rivets. Calder created his first pieces in 1906 at the age of eight for his sister's dolls using scraps of metal he found in the street