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Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder - Original Lithograph - from "Derrière le miroir"

1976

US$1,482.14

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Alexander Calder - Original Lithograph - from "Derriere le Miroir"Behind the Mirror 1976 Framed Dimensions: 38 x 56 cm Source: Derrière le miroir (DLM), n°141, 1976 Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976) The American artist Alexander Calder was born in Philadelphia in 1898. He studies engineering from 1915 to 1919 at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. He takes drawing courses with Clinton Balmer in New York in 1922, and studies at the Art Students League from 1923-25. Calder works for the magazine "National Police Gazette" as of 1924. For two weeks in 1925, he attends the daily show of a travelling circus in New York. In 1926 Alexander Calder moves to Paris where he studies at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. This is where he makes first small figure of wire, wood and cloth. In spring of 1927 he sets up a complete miniature circus with these figures, and performs shows that are visited by many Parisian artists. His miniature wire figures are on exhibition in the New Yorker Weyhe Gallery in 1928. His first one-man show takes place at the Paris Galerie Billiet-Pierre Vorms in 1929. In 1930 Alexander Calder joins the artists group "Abstraction-Création". He increasingly deals with abstractions. A visit to the Paris observatory is a major inspiration for his first mobile and abstract wire sculptures, for which Marcel Duchamp comes up with the term "Mobile". Alexander Calder presents these "Mobiles" in the Galerie Vignon in Paris in 1932 for the first time. In these "Mobiles" Calder has found his very own and most appropriate form of art. The perfectly balanced constructions, moved by a touch of air, are made of metal elements, wires, threads and sticks, they become more complex and abstract over the years, however, their impression is always one of great poetry and playful airiness. In the beginning he also makes constructions that are moved by a small motor, but Calder does not pursue this type of "Mobile". As counterparts to the "Mobiles", Alexander Calder also makes immobile, tectonically heavy, partly monumental constructions of sheet metal, for which Jean Arp invents the term "Stabile". In 1933 Alexander Calder buys a farm house in Roxbury (Connecticut) and return to the USA with his wife Louisa James. In 1934 he creates the first open air mobile that he calls "Steel Fish" which is 3,5 meters tall. Besides sculptures, his oeuvre also comprises graphic art and gouaches. Additionally, he makes jewelry, stage designs and book illustrations. Alexander Calder dies in New York in 1976. His grave is in Roxbury.

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About the Artist

Alexander Calder

The American sculptor Alexander Calder is known as the father of the mobile, a moving artwork composed of delicately balanced sculptural forms suspended from the ceiling. Because his parents, both artists themselves, did not want him to suffer the hardships of trying to make a living in art, they encouraged the young Calder to study mechanical engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. He worked a number of jobs, including as a hydraulic engineer and draftsman for the New York Edison Company, before deciding to pursue an artistic career. He never abandoned his engineering background, however, applying his understanding of gears and moving parts in all his artworks, from mechanical toys like the Cirque Calder (1931) to his free-standing abstract sculptures, called stabiles.In 1926, Calder moved to Paris and established a studio in the Montparnasse quarter. He began creating the many parts of his famous miniature circus from found materials, such as wire, string, cloth, rubber and cork. Designed to be transportable, Cirque grew to fill five suitcases over the years. Always interested in putting forms in motion, Calder also pioneered a new art form called wire sculptures, which he described as “drawings in space.” Like his famous mobiles, the wire sculptures were suspended so that they turned with any movement of the air, presenting different forms when viewed from different angles.In the 1950s, Calder returned to his roots in mechanical engineering, creating monumental abstract sculptures that verged on the architectural. He worked from loose gestural drawings like this preparatory sketch for his Man Stabile, from 1966. Throughout his career, he also worked as a set designer for the theater, as well as an illustrator and printmaker, producing vibrant, whimsical drawings for books and journals, such as this stunning lithograph of an elephant and two cats.
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