Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Alexander Calder– 1898-1976 - Father of the Mobile

A Fascination with Mobiles

Am I the only one who loves mobiles? They are so cool. And my main man Alexander Calder invented them in the 30’s.

A third generation sculptor from Philly, Calder moved to Paris in the 20’s to set up shop on Rue something (sorry, family joke), actually 22 Rue Daguerre in the Montparnasse Quarter.

His career included the creation of massive sculptures, paintings, lithographs, toys, jewelry and tapestry, but he is most famous for his mobiles. In the 1920’s, leveraging his background in mathematics and engineering, Calder started experimenting with lighter objects including bent wire that were put in motion with currents of air. The mobile was born.

Earlier in the states, as a boy, he seemed drawn to kinetic sculpture, and created several objects that seemed a vector for the career he would create later in life.

I am interested in his work, and in kinetic sculpture in general, from a ModHome perspective, because we would love to bring art into the collection we are designing, and the forms Calder created are so Modern, organic, playful, sometimes colorful – basically, they represent so much of what I would like to create in ModHome. As art lovers, we aspire raise the bar on home fashion to “the art you live in.”

The pictures that follow are mainly his mobiles, but include some examples of his other work.

Hope you enjoy.

Shine on! Braxton

Calder and his creation

Calder Mobile

Calder large scale kinetic sculpture

Calder circus. He traveled with this concept, with kinetc performances that would fit in a suitcase - eventually 5 suitcases

Calder glass sculpture

Wire sculpture by Calder. I love the shadowplay here. Playful, even comical construction

Classic Calder Mobile - very Mod!

Calder painting

Great bright colors!

Another shot of the Calder Circus - performed on both sides of the Atlantic

Love the swag of this mobile, counterweight creates almost a lazy exclamation mark

Love Calder's wire form sculpture. We saw some of his faces in Paris in the Pompidou

Calder mobile with 2 gongs - note how the wires with ball tips swing into the gongs

Balancing floor sculpture 

Love this. Hen house poster in daughter's dorm. When you lift tail, cow drops a pie. Very appropriate art in the WC :)

Calder stabile - aka a stable mobile. During WWII when metal was scarce, he sculpted wood

Got to see the exhibit at the Smithsonian March 11 through August 14, 2011. Road trip!

My Main Mobile Man showng us "The Smolder"- a babe melting look he perfected in Paris - Well done my Friend!


Leslie R. said...

I love mobiles.

dw declare said...

cool pics!

those wire faces are wild. i saw some at SFMOMA a few years back when there was had a calder exhibit there. they kind of remind me of a 3d john lennon drawing.

what struck me was how the faces look so different depending on the angle you're viewing them at.

Braxton and Yancey said...

LOVE his wire faces. Saw some in Paris years ago at the Pampidou and they were wonderful - 3D pencil drawings exactly! Shine On! Brax

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