Alexander Calder

American, 1898–1976

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Alexander Calder

American, 1898–1976

11,974
Followers
Biography

American artist Alexander Calder changed the course of modern art by developing an innovative method of sculpting, bending, and twisting wire to create three-dimensional “drawings in space.” Resonating with the Futurists and Constructivists, as well as the language of early nonobjective painting, Calder’s mobiles (a term coined by Marcel Duchamp in 1931 to describe his work) consist of abstract shapes made of industrial materials––often poetic and gracefully formed and at times boldly colored––that hang in an uncanny, perfect balance. His complex assemblage Cirque Calder (1926–31), which allowed for the artist’s manipulation of its various characters presented before an audience, predated Performance Art by some 40 years. Later in his career, Calder devoted himself to making outdoor monumental sculptures in bolted sheet steel that continue to grace public plazas in cities throughout the world.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$26m, Christie's, 2014
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 11 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 27 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 6 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 4 more
Biography

American artist Alexander Calder changed the course of modern art by developing an innovative method of sculpting, bending, and twisting wire to create three-dimensional “drawings in space.” Resonating with the Futurists and Constructivists, as well as the language of early nonobjective painting, Calder’s mobiles (a term coined by Marcel Duchamp in 1931 to describe his work) consist of abstract shapes made of industrial materials––often poetic and gracefully formed and at times boldly colored––that hang in an uncanny, perfect balance. His complex assemblage Cirque Calder (1926–31), which allowed for the artist’s manipulation of its various characters presented before an audience, predated Performance Art by some 40 years. Later in his career, Calder devoted himself to making outdoor monumental sculptures in bolted sheet steel that continue to grace public plazas in cities throughout the world.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$26m, Christie's, 2014
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 11 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 27 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 6 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 4 more
Shows Featuring Alexander Calder
Articles Featuring Alexander Calder
The 10 Best Booths at FIAC
Oct 17th, 2019
Understanding Alexander Calder through 6 Pivotal Artworks
Jan 8th, 2018
Alexander Calder’s Jewelry Turns People into Living Sculptures
Aug 21st, 2017
Calder and Picasso Grandsons Curate a Tribute to Their Legendary Grandfathers
Oct 31st, 2016
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