Calder Foundation

Cowboys Roping a Steer

Date 1932
Ink on paper
14 1⁄16" × 19 1⁄16"
Philadelphia Museum of Art; Purchased with the Lola Downin Peck Fund from the Carl & Laura Zigrosser Collection, 1969
Works / Work on Paper 277
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.”