Alexander Calder

Birth placeUnited States Birth date1898

American sculptor, he was born into a family of artists, but did not feel initially inclined towards art and studied mechanical engineering, which later was very useful. Until 1923 he did not enrol in an art school, where he began making quick sketches of pedestrians. Influenced by abstract artists such as Piet Mondrian, Jean Arp and Joan Miró, in 1931 he joined the Abstraction-Creation association, and in the same year, he created a work that Marcel Duchamp baptized as mobile. Precisely the mobiles are the creations that elevated Calder to the highest peaks of modern sculpture. With them, it was proposed to create abstract works endowed with movement, which would reflect, thanks to their dynamism, the changing effects of light.

He made mobiles of very different sizes, some gigantic, in which he used coloured pieces of brass of abstract shapes, joined by wires or ropes; usually suspended from the ceiling, as a result of their low weight they were easily moved by air. With these works, he was the first to incorporate the movement into the work of art and became the forerunner of kinetic art. Particularly noteworthy are Steel Fish and Red Petals. The great success of his mobiles explains that the creator received orders from the most diverse countries and that his works embellish some of the main cities in the world. He also made 'stabiles', non-mobile, large and dark-coloured sculptures, which often reproduce monsters or strange animals. Referring to his mobiles, Alexander Calder once said that with them he had intended to give life and movement to the works of Piet Mondrian, who had the opportunity to contemplate live and caused a profound impact.

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