Calder Foundation


Date 1929
Brass wire
5" × 15 1⁄2" × 2"
Calder Foundation, New York
Historical Photos  1
Related exhibitions  4
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
Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2015)

Museo Jumex, Mexico City. Calder: Discipline of the Dance. 21 March–28 June 2015.

Solo Exhibition
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017)

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Calder: Hypermobility. 9 June–23 October 2017.

Solo Exhibition
Musée Picasso, Paris (2019)

Musée Picasso, Paris. Calder-Picasso. 19 February–25 August 2019.

Group Exhibition
Chronology  1
Before 25 December 1929

Calder creates his first formal mechanized sculpture, Goldfish Bowl, and presents it to his mother as a Christmas gift. For his father, he makes a brass wire fish. In a letter to Peggy, Nanette writes, He made me a fish tank of brass wire, with two fish that wiggle as you turn a crank made

also of wire. Waves are indicated along the top. For your Dad a large fish that is now hanging from the electric light. Peggy, it is remarkable. One wire beginning at his tail, running along the backbone to the head where the eyes and mouth are faultlessly placed. Then the wire loops around the back bone as it travels back to form the other half of the tail. This is hard to describe, but it is really wonderful as is the fish bowl in which the fishes bend as tho [sic] swimming.

Works / Wire Sculpture 76
Related Timeline
1926–1930 Wire Sculpture and the Circus

Soon after moving to Paris in 1926, Calder created his Cirque Calder. Made of wire and a spectrum of found materials, the Cirque was a work of performance art that gained Calder an introduction to the Parisian avant-garde. He continued to explore his invention of wire sculpture, whereby he “drew” with wire in three dimensions the portraits of friends, animals, circus themes, and personalities of the day.