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 Alexander (Sandy) Calder  (1898 - 1976)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut/New York / France      Known for: kinetic sculpture, modernist drawing

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Alexander (Sandy) Calder
An example of work by Alexander (Sandy) Calder
© 2001 Estate of Alexander Calder / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
One of America's best known sculptors, "Sandy" Calder became most famous for his kinetic abstract mobiles.  He also did floor pieces, was a painter in watercolor, oil and gouache, did etchings and serigraphs, and made jewelry and tapestries as well designed theater stage settings and architectural interiors.

His art reflects his reputation of being a beloved, decent human being who continually searched for fun and humor in that around him. He was highly independent from luxuries and focused on creativity.  His last words, "I'll do it myself", tell the story of his life.

He was born in Philadelphia, the son of Alexander Sterling Calder and the grandson of Alexander Milne Calder, well-known sculptors of public monumental works.  His mother, Nanette Lederer Calder, was a professional portrait painter. Obviously he was nurtured in an environment of art, and from an early age, he was making figures from found objects.  Because of the father's ill health and the necessity for a drier climate, the family moved to Oracle, Arizona in 1905, and five years later to Pasadena, California.  When Sandy was a teenager, the family returned to Pennsylvania.

He was unable to make a decision about a vocation, but his fascination with machines led to his earning a degree in mechanical engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology in 1919.  He tried a variety of jobs including working in the boiler room of a cruise ship.  In 1923, he enrolled in the Art Students League in New York City, where his teachers were John Sloan, Guy Pene Du Bois, and Boardman Robinson.  In classes there he did numerous oil paintings and also humorous drawings of sporting events for the National Police Gazette.

In 1925, he produced an illustrated book titled Animal Sketching, one-line drawings that foreshadowed his early wire sculptures of figures and animals.  In 1926, encouraged by an engineer friend of his father to follow his talent, he went to Paris where he lived the next seven years and shortly after his arrival began doing wire sculpture. During this period, his mother gave him seventy-five dollars a month for living expenses.

He assembled a "Circus," of miniature, hand activated one-wire figures with which he gave performances in his studio.  These pieces were made by bending and twisting a single wire into humorous portraits, animals, and figure groups.

He also met many of the leading avant-garde artists of the day including Piet Mondrian, who influenced Calder's geometric, non-objective constructions that he began producing in 1931.  His floor pieces, named "stabiles" by Jean Arp, were exhibited in a gallery exhibition organized by Marcel Duchamp, who coined the word "mobile" for the hanging, kinetic pieces.  Soon, Calder was creating many of these wind-driven works.

Calder's mobiles were first shown in the United States in 1932, and the next year he returned to America and purchased a home in Roxbury, Connecticut where he lived the remainder of his life and gained much attention from that time.

Dancer Martha Graham used several of his sculptures in her modern dance performances, and personnel at the Museum of Modern Art in New York began purchasing pieces from him including his first large-scale piece called Whale in 1937.

During World War II when metal was scarce, he made mobiles and stabiles from carved, painted wood, and in the early 1950s he added to his repertoire wall pieces and mobiles that incorporated sound.  Many federal agencies and businesses commissioned works by him, and most major American museums have his pieces in their collections.

His death in 1976 occurred coincidentally with a major retrospective of his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.


Source:
Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Art


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
CALDER IN BLOOM
A walk in the park with the great American sculptor.
by PETER SCHJELDAHL

An interviewer once asked Alexander Calder if he ever felt sad. "When I think I might start to," he replied, "I fall asleep." On another occasion, he spoke of the "big advantage" he had because of his inclination to be "happy by nature." Calder, who died in 1976 at the age of seventy-eight, in fine productive fettle almost to the end, made many such remarks, which are certain to daunt ordinary maladjusted citizens.

Perhaps vengefully, some people persist in regarding him as trivial, which he isn't. His work is often great, sometimes O.K., and once in a while fairly bad, but it always operates at a high level of formal and philosophical intelligence. It also wears well.

The plangent insouciance of Calder's best work looks ever stronger and, in a real way, more serious than most other canonical styles of the twentieth century. (And the flat champagne of his failures comes across as a test to see if we're paying attention.)

Above all, Calder was an extraordinarily successful maker of public art in an age when the terms "public" and "art" began to consort with each other like cats in a sack.  It's not quite that we love his costume jewelry for the world's plazas. Better, we take it in stride as self-explanatory and all but inevitable. A Calder doesn't set off the questions that abort so much public art in our democracy: What is that? What is it doing there? When will it go away?

A rangy outdoor and indoor exhibition, "Grand Intuitions: Calder's Monumental Sculpture," curated by Alexander S. C. Rower, a grandson of the artist, has just opened at the Storm King Art Center, in Mountainville, New York; it will remain for three years.


Source:
The New Yorker, June, 2001

Biography from GallArt.com:
Alexander Calder was born in 1898, the second child of artist parents—his father was a sculptor and his mother a painter. Because his father, Alexander Stirling Calder, received public commissions, the family traversed the country throughout Calder's childhood. Calder was encouraged to create, and from the age of eight he always had his own workshop wherever the family lived. For Christmas in 1909, Calder presented his parents with two of his first sculptures, a tiny dog and duck cut from a brass sheet and bent into formation. The duck is kinetic—it rocks back and forth when tapped. Even at age eleven, his facility in handling materials was apparent.

Despite his talents, Calder did not originally set out to become an artist. He instead enrolled at the Stevens Institute of Technology after high school and graduated in 1919 with an engineering degree. Calder worked for several years after graduation at various jobs, including as a hydraulics and automotive engineer, timekeeper in a logging camp, and fireman in a ship's boiler room. While serving in the latter occupation, on a ship from New York bound for San Francisco, Calder awoke on the deck to see both a brilliant sunrise and a scintillating full moon; each was visible on opposite horizons (the ship then lay off the Guatemalan coast). The experience made a lasting impression on Calder: he would refer to it throughout his life.

Calder committed to becoming an artist shortly thereafter, and in 1923 he moved to New York and enrolled at the Art Students League. He also took a job illustrating for the National Police Gazette, which sent him to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to sketch circus scenes for two weeks in 1925. The circus became a lifelong interest of Calder's, and after moving to Paris in 1926, he created his Cirque Calder, a complex and unique body of art. The assemblage included diminutive performers, animals, and props he had observed at the Ringling Bros. Circus. Fashioned from wire, leather, cloth, and other found materials, Cirque Calder was designed to be manipulated manually by Calder. Every piece was small enough to be packed into a large trunk, enabling the artist to carry it with him and hold performances anywhere. Its first performance was held in Paris for an audience of friends and peers, and soon Calder was presenting the circus in both Paris and New York to much success. Calder's renderings of his circus often lasted about two hours and were quite elaborate. Indeed, the Cirque Calder predated performance art by forty years.

Calder found he enjoyed working with wire for his circus. He soon began to sculpt from this material many portraits of his friends and public figures of the day. Word traveled about the inventive artist, and in 1928 Calder was given his first solo gallery show at the Weyhe Gallery in New York. This exhibition was soon followed by others in New York, Paris, and Berlin; as a result, Calder spent much time crossing the ocean by boat. He met Louisa James (a grandniece of writer Henry James) on one of these steamer journeys and the two were married in January 1931. He also became friendly with many prominent artists and intellectuals of the early twentieth century at this time, including Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, James Johnson Sweeney, and Marcel Duchamp. In October of 1930, Calder visited the studio of Piet Mondrian in Paris and was deeply impressed by a wall of colored paper rectangles that Mondrian continually repositioned for compositional experiments. He recalled later in life that this experience "shocked" him toward total abstraction. For three weeks following this visit, he created solely abstract paintings, only to discover that he did indeed prefer sculpture to painting. Soon after, he was invited to join Abstraction-Création, an influential group of artists (including Jean Arp, Mondrian, and Jean Hélion) with whom he had become friendly.

In the fall of 1931, a significant turning point in Calder's artistic career occurred when he created his first truly kinetic sculpture and gave form to an entirely new type of art. The first of these objects moved by systems of cranks and motors, and were dubbed "mobiles" by Marcel Duchamp—in French mobile refers to both "motion" and "motive." Calder soon abandoned the mechanical aspects of these works when he realized he could fashion mobiles that would undulate on their own with the air's currents. Arp, in order to differentiate Calder's non-kinetic works from his kinetic works, named Calder's stationary objects "stabiles."

In 1933, Calder and Louisa left France and returned to the United States, where they purchased an old farmhouse in Roxbury, Connecticut. Calder converted an icehouse attached to the main house into a studio. Their first daughter, Sandra, was born in 1935, and a second daughter, Mary, followed in 1939. He also began his association with the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York with his first show in 1934. James Johnson Sweeney, who had become a close friend, wrote the catalogue's preface. Calder also constructed sets for ballets by both Martha Graham and Eric Satie during the 1930s, and continued to give Cirque Calder performances.

Calder's earliest attempts at large, outdoor sculptures were also constructed in this decade. These predecessors of his later imposing public works were much smaller and more delicate; the first attempts made for his garden were easily bent in strong winds. And yet, they are indicative of his early intentions to work on a grand scale. In 1937, Calder created his first large bolted stabile fashioned entirely from sheet metal, which he entitled Devil Fish. Enlarged from an earlier and smaller stabile, the work was exhibited in a Pierre Matisse Gallery show, Stabiles and Mobiles. This show also included Big Bird, another large work based on a maquette. Soon after, Calder received commissions to make both Mercury Fountain for the Spanish Pavilion at the Parisian World Fair (a work that symbolized Spanish Republican resistance to fascism) and Lobster Trap and Fish Tail, a sizable mobile installed in the main stairwell of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

When the United States entered World War II, Calder applied for entry to the Marine Corps but was ultimately rejected. He continued to create: because metal was in short supply during the war years, Calder turned increasingly to wood as a sculptural medium. Working in wood resulted in yet another original form of sculpture, works called "constellations" by Sweeney and Duchamp. With their carved wood elements anchored by wire, the constellations were so-called because they suggested the cosmos, though Calder did not intend that they represent anything in particular. The Pierre Matisse Gallery held an exhibition of these works in the spring of 1943, Calder's last solo show at that gallery. His association with Matisse ended shortly thereafter and he took up with the Buchholz Gallery/Curt Valentin as his New York representation.

The forties and fifties were a remarkably productive period for Calder, which was launched in 1938 with the first retrospective of his work at the George Walter Vincent Smith Gallery in Springfield, Massachusetts. A second, major retrospective was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York just a few years later, in 1943. In 1945, Calder made a series of small-scale works; in keeping with his economy, many were made from scraps of metal trimmed while making larger pieces. While visiting Calder's studio about this time, Duchamp was intrigued by these small works. Inspired by the idea that the works could be easily dismantled, mailed to Europe, and re-assembled for an exhibition, Duchamp planned a Calder show at Galerie Louis Carré in Paris. This important show was held the following year and Jean-Paul Sartre wrote his famous essay on Calder's mobiles for the exhibition catalogue. In 1949, Calder constructed his largest mobile to date, International Mobile, for the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Third International Exhibition of Sculpture. He designed sets for Happy as Larry, a play directed by Burgess Meredith, and for Nucléa, a dance performance directed by Jean Vilar. Galerie Maeght in Paris also held a Calder show in 1950, and subsequently became Calder's exclusive Parisian dealer. His association with Galerie Maeght lasted twenty-six years, until his death in 1976. After his New York dealer Curt Valentin died unexpectedly in 1954, Calder selected Perls Galleries in New York as his new American dealer, and this alliance also lasted until the end of his life.

Calder concentrated his efforts primarily on large-scale commissioned works in his later years. Some of these major monumental sculpture commissions include: .125, a mobile for the New York Port Authority that was hung in Idlewild (now John F. Kennedy) Airport (1957); La Spirale, for UNESCO, in Paris (1958); Teodelapio, for the city of Spoleto, Italy (1962); Trois disques (Man), for the Expo in Montreal (1967); El Sol Rojo, installed outside the Aztec Stadium for the Olympic Games in Mexico City; La Grande vitesse, the first public art work to be funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan (1969); and Flamingo, a stabile for the General Services Administration in Chicago (1973).

As the range and breadth of his various projects and commissions indicate, Calder's artistic talents were renowned worldwide by the 1960s. A retrospective of his work opened at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1964. Five years later, the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, held its own Calder retrospective. In 1966, Calder, together with his son-in-law Jean Davidson, published a well-received autobiography. Additionally, both of Calder's dealers, Galerie Maeght in Paris and Perls Galleries in New York, averaged about one Calder show each per year.

In 1976, he attended the opening of yet another retrospective of his work, Calder's Universe, at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Just a few weeks later, Calder died at the age of seventy-eight, ending the most prolific and innovative artistic career of the twentieth century. (Courtesy of calder.org)

Biography from Hollis Taggart Galleries (Artists, A-D):
Credited with the invention of the mobile, Alexander Calder revolutionized twentieth-century art with his innovative use of subtle air currents to animate sculpture.  An accomplished painter of gouaches and sculptor in a variety of media, Calder is best known for poetic arrangements of boldly colored, irregularly shaped geometric forms that convey a sense of harmony and balance.

Calder was born in a suburb of Philadelphia to a family of artists.  His grandfather, Alexander Milne Calder, and father, Alexander Stirling Calder, created sculptures and public monuments, and his mother was a painter.  Accustomed to traveling in pursuit of public art commissions, the family moved to Pasadena, California, in 1906. The new environment—with its expansive night sky studded with brilliant planets and stars—fascinated the young Calder.  These cosmic forms strongly influenced the structure and iconography of his future work.

At a young age, Calder began using tools and found materials to create various structures and inventions.  This constructive impulse led him to attend the Stevens Institute of Technology, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering in 1919.  Yet by 1922 he had abandoned his new career.  After a stint as a seaman, Calder began formal art study at the Art Students League in New York in 1923. During this period, Calder worked as a freelance illustrator and often visited zoos and circuses to sketch.

Calder moved to Paris in 1926, and during his seven-year stay he delighted fellow artists including Man Ray, Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, Le Corbusier and Piet Mondrian and attracted the attention of art patrons with his whimsical wire figures and portrait heads.  Most notably, he created small sculptures of circus animals and performers with movable parts and developed and toured a performance/demonstration dubbed the “Cirque Calder.”  This series culminated in the completion of his most celebrated piece, Circus (1932, Whitney Museum of American Art).

Calder’s use of irregular, biomorphic forms that recall the work of Miró reflected the influence of Surrealism and Dada, but it was the art and concepts of Mondrian that would have the most decisive impact on Calder’s work.  Calder visited Mondrian’s studio in 1930 and later described how the experience transformed his understanding of abstract art.  He wrote, “This one visit gave me a shock that started things. Though I had often heard the word ‘modern’ before, I did not consciously know or feel the term ‘abstract.’  So now at thirty-two, I wanted to paint and work in the abstract.” (1) Shortly thereafter, Calder was invited to join the international Abstraction-Création group that included Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Jean Arp, and many other artists working with geometric abstract forms.

Calder was impressed by Mondrian’s reduction of visual imagery to a vocabulary of flat planes of primary colors.  He suggested that Mondrian consider adding movement to the forms.  Mondrian rejected the idea, stating “my painting is already very fast.” (2)  Calder soon took his own advice and began experimenting with movement in his work.  At first, he drew on his mechanical training to devise cranks and motors that would produce kinetic effects.  The following year, Calder exhibited these new pieces, christened “mobiles” by Marcel Duchamp, as well as non-moving wire abstractions termed “stabiles” by Jean Arp.  By 1932 Calder realized that ambient air currents were strong enough to move lightweight sculptures, and he abandoned prescribed patterns of movement for more spontaneous rhythms.

In 1933, Calder reestablished his home base in the United States, on a farm in Roxbury, Connecticut.  The years from this point to the late 1950s were the most varied and prolific of Calder’s career.  As he emerged as an artist of international stature, with a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1943, Calder continued to make mobiles (hanging and standing) and stabiles made out of sheet metal, as well as paintings, jewelry, and set designs for performances by Martha Graham, Eric Satie, and others.  When scrap metal was in short supply during World War II, Calder turned to wood.  In 1953, the Calder family purchased a home in Saché, France, and they began dividing their time between Connecticut, France and periods of extended travel.  By the end of the 1950s, the proportions of Calder’s mobiles had dramatically increased and he was completing more site-specific commissions.

Large-scale sheet-metal stabiles commissioned for public spaces dominate Calder’s late career in the 1960s and 1970s.  Their vivid colors, sweeping arches and shapes evoking birds and animals offer a counterpoint to rectilinear modern architecture and breathe life into urban environments around the world.  One notable example is Flamingo (1973, Federal Center Plaza, Chicago).  Widely celebrated during his lifetime, Calder died just a few weeks after the opening of “Calder’s Universe,” a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

1. Alexander Calder, An Autobiography in Pictures (New York: Pantheon Books, 1966), p. 113.
2. Ibid.

References
Arnason, H. H. Calder. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand, 1966.

Calder, Alexander. An Autobiography in Pictures. New York: Pantheon Books, 1966.

Giménez, Carmen, and Alexander S. C. Rower, ed. Calder: Gravity and Grace. London: Phaidon Press, 2004.

Lipman, Jean. Calder's Universe. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1976.

Marter, Joan M. Alexander Calder. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Prather, Marla. Alexander Calder 1898–1976. Washington D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1998.

Biography from RoGallery.com:
Alexander Calder, internationally famous by his mid-30s, is renowned for developing a new idiom in modern art-the mobile.

His works in this mode, from miniature to monumental, are called mobiles (suspended moving sculptures), standing mobiles (anchored moving sculptures) and stabiles (stationary constructions).  Calder's abstract works are characteristically direct, spare, buoyant, colorful and finely crafted.  He made ingenious, frequently witty, use of natural and manmade materials, including wire, sheetmetal, wood and bronze.

Calder was born in 1898 in Philadelphia, the son of Alexander Stirling Calder and grandson of Alexander Milne Calder, both well-known sculptors.  After obtaining his mechanical engineering degree from the Stevens Institute of Technology, Calder worked at various jobs before enrolling at the Art Students League in New York City in 1923. During his student years, he did line drawings for the National Police Gazette.

In 1925, Calder published his first book, Animal Sketches, illustrated in brush and ink.  He produced oil paintings of city scenes, in a loose and easy style.  Early in 1926, he began to carve primitivist figures in tropical woods, which remained an important medium in his work until 1930.

In June 1936, Calder moved to Paris.  He took some classes at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere and made his first wire sculptures. Calder created a miniature circus in his studio; the animals, clowns and tumblers were made of wire and animated by hand.  Many leading artists of the period attended, and helped with, the performances.

Calder's first New York City exhibition was in 1928, and other exhibitions in Paris and Berlin gained him international recognition as a significant artist.  A visit to Piet Mondrian's studio proved pivotal.  Calder began to work in an abstract style, finishing his first nonobjective construction in 1931.

In early 1932, he exhibited his first moving sculpture in an exhibition organized by Marcel Duchamp, who coined the word "mobile." In May 1932, Calder's fame was consolidated by the first United States show of his mobiles. Some were motor-driven, His later wind-driven mobiles enabled the sculptural parts to move independently, as Calder said, "by nature and chance."  Calder returned to the United States to live and work in Roxbury, Massachusetts in June 1932.

From the 1940s on, Calder's works, many of them large-scale outdoor sculptures, have been placed in virtually every major city of the Western world. In the 1950s, he created two new series of mobiles: "Towers," which included wall-mounted wire constructions, and "Gongs," mobiles with sound.

Calder was prolific and worked throughout his career in many art forms. He produced drawings, oil paintings, watercolors, etchings, gouache and serigraphy. He also designed jewelry, tapestry, theatre settings and architectural interiors.

Calder died in 1976.

Biography from Denis Bloch Fine Art:
Alexander Calder was born in Lawnton, Pennsylvania on July 22, 1898 to artist parents: his father was a sculptor and his mother a painter.  From the age of 8 on his parents provided him with a workshop in which to create.

For Christmas 1909, at the age of 11, he presented his parents with two of his first sculptures, a tiny dog and duck cut from a brass sheet.  The duck was kinetic—it rocked back and forth when tapped.

While working as a fireman on a ship bound from New York to San Francisco, Calder awoke on deck to see both a brilliant sunrise and a sparkling full moon; each was visible on opposite horizons.  The experience made a lasting impression on Calder: he would refer to it throughout his life.

Never interested in becoming an artist, Calder graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ with a practical degree in mechanical engineering in 1919.

In 1923 he moved to New York and enrolled at the Art Students League where he and his fellow students made a game of rapidly sketching people on the streets & subways.  Calder became known for his ability to convey a sense of movement with a single unbroken line.  He took a job illustrating and was sent to sketch the Barnum & Bailey Circus--the circus would become a lifelong interest for the artist.

Calder moved to Paris in 1926 and befriended prominent artists and intellectuals such as Joan Miro, Fernand Leger, Marcel Duchamp and Piet Mondrian.

In 1931 Calder created his first truly kinetic sculpture and gave form to an entirely new type of art.  That year he married Louisa James, a niece of writer Henry James. Their first daughter, Sandra, was born in 1935 and a second daughter, Mary, followed in 1939.

In 1943 The Museum of Modern Art in New York gave a comprehensive exhibition of Calder’s work—the show’s exhibition catalogue was the first extensive study on the artist.

By the mid 1940s Alexander Calder was given exhibitions in Berne, Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Virginia and New York sealing his international status as an artist.

Calder won the first place prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1952. Numerous international public commissions followed including Braniff Airlines who asked the artist to paint a few of their jet planes as ’flying canvases’ in the 1970s.

Calder, who described his mobiles as ‘four dimensional drawings’ died in 1976 shortly after his retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

QUOTE: "I paint with shapes."

Select Museum Collections:
Art Institute of Chicago, IL
Detroit Institute of Arts, MI
Walker Art Center, MN
Guggenheim Museum, NY
Museum of Modern Art, NY
National Gallery, Washington, DC
Norton Simon Museum, CA
Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland
Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona
Tate Gallery, London

Biography from Anderson Galleries:
Alexander Calder was born July 22, 1898, in Lawnton, Pennsylvania, into a family of artists.  In 1919, he received an engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken. Calder attended the Art Students League, New York, from 1923 to 1926, studying briefly with Thomas Hart Benton and John Sloan, among others.

As a freelance artist for the National Police Gazette in 1925, he spent two weeks sketching at the circus; his fascination with the subject dates from this time. He also made his first sculpture in 1925; the following year he made several constructions of animals and figures with wire and wood.

Calder’s first exhibition of paintings took place in 1926 at the Artist’s Gallery, New York. Later that year, he went to Paris and attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. In Paris, he met Stanley William Hayter, exhibited at the 1926 Salon des Indépendants, and in 1927 began giving performances of his miniature circus.

The first show of his wire animals and caricature portraits was held at the Weyhe Gallery, New York, in 1928. That same year, he met Joan Miro, who became his lifelong friend. Subsequently, Calder divided his time between France and the United States.

In 1929, the Galerie Billiet gave him his first solo show in Paris. He met Frederick Kiesler, Fernand Léger, and Theo van Doesburg and visited Piet Mondrian’s studio in 1930. Calder began to experiment with abstract sculpture at this time and in 1931 and 1932 introduced moving parts into his work. These moving sculptures were called “mobiles”; the stationary constructions were to be named “stabiles.” He exhibited with the Abstraction-Création group in Paris in 1933. In 1943, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, gave him a solo exhibition.

During the 1950s, Calder traveled widely and executed Towers (wall mobiles) and Gongs (sound mobiles). He won the Grand Prize for Sculpture at the 1952 Venice Biennale. Late in the decade, the artist worked extensively with gouache; from this period, he executed numerous major public commissions. In 1964–65, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, presented a Calder retrospective. He began the Totems in 1966 and the Animobiles in 1971; both are variations on the standing mobile. A Calder exhibition was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 1976.

Calder died November 11, 1976, in New York.


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