Alexander Calder is most famous for his invention of the mobile: a distinctive kind of sculpture which hangs in the air, is comprised of colorful shapes and wires designed to catch the air currents and move, while retaining an exquisite balance as a whole. Though these are the works that often catch the imagination of his admirers, Alexander Calder also completed a body of work throughout his lifetime that is significant for its variety and success. Alexander Calder’s early studies as a mechanical engineer infused his later works with elements of machines and their complicated functions. He created enormous metal sculptures which are installed in various locations. Alexander Calder’s delicate and complicated kinetic sculptures were given the name “mobiles” by Marcel Duchamp, a French cubist artist. The monumental static sculptures were give the name “stabiles” by Jean Arp, a German-French abstract artist. Calder’s works were differentiated by these designations. Alexander Calder also created mechanical toys, pivotal stage sets for the theater, huge outdoor public sculptures, paintings and pen and ink drawings, illustrations for books, painted aircraft and automobiles and jewelry. Calder visited Piet Mondrian’s studio and was so influenced by the work that he came round to the idea that he, himself was truly an abstract artist. Red Mobile from 1956 is a painted-metal rods and sheet metal construction which is one of his signature works. It is displayed in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Braniff International Airways commissioned Alexander Calder to paint a full sized jet airliner. He also created over 2,000 jewelry pieces during the span of life, which were given to close friends such as the wife of Marc Chagall and Georgia O’Keefe. Less
Alexander Calder is most famous for his invention of the mobile: a distinctive kind of sculpture which hangs in the air, is comprised of colorful shapes and wires designed to catch the air currents and move, while retaining an exquisite balance as a More
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