Calder Foundation


Date 1934
Wood, wire, sheet metal, and paint, with motor
11 3⁄4" × 8" × 7"
The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kay Sage Tanguy Bequest
Works / Panel / Frame 24
Works / Standing Mobile 249
Related Timeline
1930–1936 Shift to Abstraction

Following a visit in October of 1930 to Piet Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed by the environmental installation, Calder made his first wholly abstract compositions and invented the kinetic sculpture now known as the mobile. Coined for these works by Marcel Duchamp in 1931, the word “mobile” refers to both “motion” and “motive” in French. He also created stationary abstract works that Jean Arp dubbed “stabiles.”