Calder Foundation

The Spider

Date 1940
Sheet metal, wire, and paint
95" × 99" × 73"
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas
Historical Photos  9
Related exhibitions  5
Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York (1940)

Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York. Calder. 14 May–1 June 1940.

Solo Exhibition
The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1943)

The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Alexander Calder: Sculptures and Constructions. 29 September 1943–16 January 1944.

Solo Exhibition
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1976)

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Calder’s Universe. 14 October 1976–6 February 1977.

Solo Exhibition
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1998)

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Alexander Calder: 1898–1976. 29 March–12 July 1998.

Solo Exhibition
Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2009)

Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome. Calder: Sculptor of Air. 23 October 2009–14 February 2010.

Solo Exhibition
Chronology  1
14 October–7 November 1942

The Coordinating Council of French Relief Societies sponsors the exhibition “First Papers of Surrealism” at the Whitelaw Reid Mansion, New York, organized by Breton and Duchamp. Duchamp creates his mile of string on which he invites Calder to hang his works. Calder proceeds to construct small paper sculptures intended as a pun on the exhibition’s title. However, Breton vetoes the collaboration, and the large standing mobile The Spider is installed.

Works / Monumental Sculpture 217
Works / Standing Mobile 268
Related Timeline
1937–1945 Public Commissions and the War

In 1937, Calder completed Devil Fish, his first stabile enlarged from a model. He received two important commissions: Mercury Fountain (1937) and Lobster Trap and Fish Tail (1939). His first retrospective was held in 1938 at the George Walter Vincent Smith Gallery in Springfield, Massachusetts, followed by another in 1943 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.