The sense of motion in painting and sculpture has long been considered as one of the primary elements of the composition.
The Futurists prescribed for its rendition.
Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude descending the stairs” is the result of the desire for motion. Here he has also eliminated representative form. This avoids the connotation of ideas which would interfere with the success of the main issue—the sense of movement.
Fernand Léger’s film, “Ballet Mécanique,” is the result of the desire for a picture in motion.
Therefore, why not plastic forms in motion? Not a simple translatory or rotary motion but several motions of different types, speeds and amplitudes composing to make a resultant whole. Just as one can compose colors, or forms, so one can compose motions.
The two motor driven “mobiles” which I am exhibiting are from among the more successful of my earliest attempts at plastic objects in motion. The orbits are all circular arcs or circles. The supports have been painted to disappear against a white background to leave nothing but the moving elements, their forms and colors, and their orbits, speeds and accelerations.
Wherever there is a main issue the elimination of other things which are not essential will make for a stronger result. In the earlier static abstract sculptures I was most interested in space, vectoral quantities, and centers of differing densities.
The esthetic value of these objects cannot be arrived at by reasoning. Familiarization is necessary.
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf. Alexander Calder: Avant-Garde in Motion. Exhibition catalogue. 2013.
Gryphon Rue Rower-Upjohn, Calder and SoundSolo Exhibition Catalogue
Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York. Alexander Calder: Multum in Parvo. Exhibition catalogue. 2015.
Jed Perl, Alexander Calder: Multum in ParvoSolo Exhibition Catalogue
Hauser & Wirth, Zürich. Transparence: Calder / Picabia. Exhibition catalogue. 2015.
George Baker, Picabia and Calder: A TrajectoryGroup Exhibition Catalogue