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    • Alexander Calder (1898-1976)


        Sculptor

        Alexander Calder was an American sculptor, abstract painter and illustrator of children's books. He was originally an engineer, and his main inventions - stabiles (so named by Arp) and mobiles (so named by Duchamp), both dating from 1931/2 when he exhibited them in Paris - can be regarded as a marriage between engineering and sculpture.

        His paintings were influenced by Miro, and he said that he wanted to make 'moving Mondrians'.

        Most of his works are in America, where he returned after his Paris exhibition, but there is a large one in the UNESCO building in Paris (1945) and large stabiles were made for the Montreal Expo in 1967 and for Chicago (1974). These were large structures in steel, mostly painted black and red, and were intended to stimulate the revival of monumental sculpture in cities; two large works in the US are at Kennedy Airport, New York, and in Washington (NG). There is a mobile of 1959 in Leeds, and others in Edinburgh (NG of Modern Art) and London (Tate).

      • Source: The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists (Penguin Reference Books)


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Updated: 2006