Calder Foundation

Featured Text

Mobiles by Alexander Calder

James Johnson Sweeney Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York. Mobiles by Alexander Calder. Exhibition catalogue. 1934.

The evolution of Calder’s work epitomizes the evolution of plastic art in the present century. Out of a tradition of naturalistic representation, it has worked by a simplification of expressional means to a plastic concept which leans on the shapes of the natural world only as a source from which to abstract the elements of form.

First we have a reduction of volumes to contour lines—a sort of spatial calligraphy in wire—which gave a freer field to fantasy, but, at the same time, laid a stronger emphasis on essentials. Then a growing interest in the bases of plastic organization—texture contrasts, primary colors, simple rhythms. Finally a new fusion of these elements into forms interesting not so much in their representational character as for themselves.

And it is in the ability to effect this fusion that Calder’s quality lies. Moscow as early as 1921 had seen constructivism a realization. But Tatlin’s and Obmochu’s constructions remained architecture and machines. Calder personalizes his “mobiles” with a lyricism entirely his own—a freshness, gaiety and charm.

Featured Texts 83

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf. Alexander Calder: Avant-Garde in Motion. Exhibition catalogue. 2013.

Gryphon Rue Rower-Upjohn, Calder and Sound

Solo Exhibition Catalogue

Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York. Alexander Calder: Multum in Parvo. Exhibition catalogue. 2015.

Jed Perl, Alexander Calder: Multum in Parvo

Solo Exhibition Catalogue

Hauser & Wirth, Zürich. Transparence: Calder / Picabia. Exhibition catalogue. 2015.

George Baker, Picabia and Calder: A Trajectory

Group Exhibition Catalogue

“Calder in France.” Cahiers d’Art, no. 1 (2015). Edited by Alexander S. C. Rower.

Susan Braeuer Dam, Calder in France

Robert Melvin Rubin, An Architecture of Making: Saché and Roxbury

Magazine, Monograph