Calder Foundation

A Universe

Date 1934
Media
Iron pipe, wire, wood, string, and paint, with motor
Dimensions
40 1⁄2" × 30" × 29"
Collection
The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (by exchange)
Historical Photos  2
Related exhibitions  6
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
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1964)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Alexander Calder: A Retrospective Exhibition. 6 November 1964–31 January 1965.

Solo Exhibition
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris (1965)

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris. Calder. 8 July–15 October 1965. Originated from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

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
Tate Modern, London (2015)

Tate Modern, London. Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture. 11 November 2015–3 April 2016.

Solo Exhibition
Chronology  1
2 March–19 April 1936

“Cubism and Abstract Art” is presented by Alfred H. Barr, Jr., at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Calder is represented by three works: Objet Volant, a large mobile commissioned to hang on the flagpole outside the museum, announcing the show; A Universe; and a mobile.

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.”