Fine Art

Alexander Calder


Alexander Calder was an American sculptor who is best known for his invention of the mobile, a type of kinetic sculpture made with delicately balanced objects. Born in 1898 in Pennsylvania, Calder came from a family of artists and inventors, and he grew up with a fascination for machines and how things worked.

After studying engineering at university, Calder decided to pursue a career in art, and he eventually moved to Paris, where he became friends with many other notable artists of the time, including Joan Miró and Fernand Léger. It was in Paris that Calder began experimenting with the mobile, which he first exhibited in the 1930s.

Calder’s mobiles, which were typically made with wire and brightly colored shapes, were a departure from traditional sculpture, which was largely static. Instead, his works relied on the movement of air currents to create subtle, ever-changing compositions. Calder’s mobiles are playful and whimsical, and they are often likened to toys or the natural world.

In addition to his mobiles, Calder also created many other types of sculptures, including large-scale works for public spaces. One of his most famous public sculptures is “Flamingo,” which is located in Chicago’s Federal Plaza. The towering, red sculpture dominates the plaza and has become an iconic symbol of the city.

Calder was also active in other areas of the arts, including theater and music. He designed costumes and sets for many stage productions, including collaborations with Martha Graham and Virgil Thomson. He even created a miniature circus, which he performed for audiences in the 1930s and 1940s.

In the latter part of his career, Calder turned his attention to monumental sculpture, and he created many large-scale works for public spaces around the world. Despite his success, Calder remained humble about his achievements, saying, “I think best when I have no preconceived notion of what I’m going to do.”

Today, Calder’s works can be found in museums and public spaces around the world, and his contributions to the world of sculpture continue to inspire artists and art enthusiasts alike.