Friday, September 18, 2009

Calder Mobiles

For me, one of the greatest things about doing this blog project is familiarizing myself with great artists, and recognizing their work outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (it's kind of like seeing an old friend for me). I flew to California (where I'm from) last weekend, and was pleasantly surprised to see an ENORMOUS Calder mobile in the ticket area of JFK (top). The Met's own Calder mobile, located on the second floor of the Modern Art Wing is pictured below it.

Alexander Calder (1898-1976), whose illustrious career spanned much of the 20th century, is the most acclaimed and influential sculptor of our time. Born in a family of celebrated, though more classically trained artists, Calder utilized his innovative genius to profoundly change the course of modern art. He began by developing a new method of sculpting: by bending and twisting wire, he essentially "drew" three-dimensional figures in space. He is renowned for the invention of the mobile, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony. Calder also devoted himself to making outdoor sculpture on a grand scale from bolted sheet steel. Today, these stately titans grace public plazas in cities throughout the world. - from

The Met held a Calder Jewelry exhibition a while back, which highlighted his skills as a metalworker and showed his diversity as an artist. And, speaking of seeing "old friends," I came across a Calder sculpture in the garden at the Baltimore Museum of Art a few months ago. Also, "Alexander Calder: The Paris Years" came through The Whitney in New York last year, and I was able to catch it at the Centre Pompidou in Paris over the summer. It was a wonderful, whimsical exhibition, see the video below:

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