Alexander CALDER

Alexander CALDER
1898–1976, USA

Also known as: AC, CA

Name Alexander CALDER
Birth 1898, 22/7, USA
Died 1976, 11/11, USA

Alexander Calder biography:

Alexander Calder was born on July 22, 1898, in Lawnton, Pennsylvania, into a family of artists. In 1919, he received an engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. Calder attended the Art Students League, New York, from 1923 to 1926, studying briefly with Thomas Hart Benton and John Sloan. As a freelance artist for the National Police Gazette in 1925, he spent two weeks sketching at the circus; his fascination with the subject dates from this time. He also made his first sculpture in 1925; the following year he made several constructions of animals and figures with wire and wood. Calder's first exhibition of paintings took place in 1926 at the Artist's Gallery, New York. Later that year, he went to Paris and attended the Académie de la grande chaumière. In Paris, he met Stanley William Hayter, exhibited at the 1926 Salon des Indépendants, and in 1927 began giving performances of his miniature circus. The first show of his wire animals and caricature portraits was held at the Weyhe Gallery, New York, in 1928. That same year, he met Joan Miró, who became a lifelong friend. Subsequently, Calder divided his time between France and the United States. In 1929, the Galerie Billiet gave him his first solo show in Paris. He met Frederick Kiesler, Fernand Léger, and Theo van Doesburg and visited Piet Mondrian's studio in 1930. Around this time, he also encountered James Johnson Sweeney, future Guggenheim Museum director, who would become a close friend and supporter. Calder began to experiment with abstract sculpture and in 1931 and 1932 introduced moving parts into his work. These moving sculptures were called "mobiles"; the stationary constructions were to be named "stabiles." He exhibited with the group Abstraction-Création (Abstraction Creation, 1931–36) in Paris in 1933. In 1943, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, gave him a solo exhibition.
During the 1950s, Calder traveled widely and executed "gongs" (sound mobiles developed around 1948) and "towers" (wall mobiles developed around 1951). He won the Grand Prize for sculpture at the 1952 Venice Biennale. He exhibited, along with other pioneers of Kinetic art including Yaacov Agam and Jean Tinguely, in Le mouvement (Movement) at the Galerie Denise René, Paris, in 1955. Late in the decade, the artist worked extensively with gouache; from this period, he executed numerous major public commissions. In 1964–65, the Guggenheim Museum presented a Calder retrospective. He began the "totems" in 1966 and the "animobiles" in 1971; both are variations on the standing mobile. A Calder exhibition was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1976), and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2003). Calder died on November 11, 1976, in New York.


Alexander Calder (1898-1976) received a degree in mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey) prior to studying at the Art Students League in New York between 1923 and 1925. In 1926 Calder received his first solo exhibition of paintings. Shortly thereafter, he began working on a miniature circus comprised of wood and wire figures until its completion in 1931. That same year, Calder started to construct "mobiles"- abstract sculpture with moving parts. Calder's creative enterprises were cross-disciplinary and exceeded the traditional definitions of painting and sculpture; throughout the course of his career Calder developed sets for a variety of theatrical, musical, and dance performances, collaborated on films, illustrated books, produced wallpaper, fabrics, and costumes, created designs for racing cars and airplanes, and embraced humanitarian causes. Calder's enterprising outlook was in many ways connected to his enthusiasm for travel. Some highlights of Calders creative output included a commission for the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris World's Fair (1937); first prize in the Rohm and Haas Plexiglass Sculpture Competition for the World's Fair Hall of Industrial Science (1939); the Outstanding Citizen award by the City of Philadelphia (1955); separate commissions for the Brussels World's Fair, the UNESCO building in Paris and the Idlewild (now Kennedy) International Airport in New York (all 1958); first prize at the Carnegie International Exhibition (1958); the Gold Medal of the Architectural League of New York award (1960); election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York (1960); award of the American Institute of Architects' medal (1961); the Art in America annual award for Outstanding Contribution to American Art (1962); election to the American Academy of Art and Letters, New York (1964); title Chairman of Artists for SANE / Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (1965); conferral of Honorary Doctor of Art degree by Harvard University (1966); conferral of Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree by Stevens Institute of Technology (1969); the Gold Medal for Sculpture from the Academy of Arts and Letters, New York (1971); the Grand Prix National Des Arts et Lettres by the French Minister of Culture (1975); the U.N. Peace Medal award (1975); and the Bicentennial Artist award by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1976).


Alexander Calder, amerikansk skulptör och målare, föddes i Philadelphia 1898 och gick bort i New York 1976. Utbildad till ingenjör inom mekaniken studerade han också formgivning på kvällstid. 1926 for han på den då, för amerikanska konstnärer, obligatoriska pilgrimsresan till Paris och ställde där ut sina kinetiska ståltrådsskulpturer redan året efter. I New York hade Calder sin första separatutställning 1928 och när han senare återvände till Paris lärde han känna bland andra Jean Arp, Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian och Fernand Léger. Ett besök i Piet Mondrians konststudio 1930 inspirerade honom till att ta sig an den abstrakta konsten.
Han anslöt sig så småningom till gruppen Abstraction-Creation och skapade där sina första abstrakta figurer, vilka Arp kallade stabiles och de åtföljdes snart av mobiler, motordrivna eller endast \\\"luftdrivna\\\". Det var i Paris som Calder tillverkade sina \\\"mini-cirkusar\\\" med rörliga figurer i ståltråd och trä.
Under andra världskriget, försökte Calder bli marinsoldat, men blev inte antagen. Istället fortsatte han skulptera, men brist på metall fick honom att börja producera konstverk i trä. Efter kriget hade Calder flera stora retrospektiva utställningar, bland annat en på Museum of Moder Art i New York 1943.
Omkring 1970 finner vi att Alexander Calder också avbildar rörelsen i gouachemålningar av relativt stort format och även i grafiska verk. Plötsligt är också illusionen kinetisk, rörelsen framgår tydligt, utan vind, utan motor.
Endast i betraktarens öga.

Source: Stockholms Auktionsverk, Stockholm Sweden