Alexander Calder is a Sculpteur and American painter born with Philadelphia on July 22nd 1898 and deceased on November 11th 1976 of an heart attack, in New York where it had come to inaugurate a retrospective of his work.
He was the son of two artists. Engineer of formation, it especially carried out mobiles, assemblies of forms animated by the movements of the air, of the Stabile S “ the sublimation of a tree in the wind ” according to Marcel Duchamp.
In 1923, it enters to the Art Students League of New York where it studies with painters of the École Ashcan like John Sloan and George Luks. In 1924, it works as illustrator near the National Organizes Gazette . In 1925, it carries out on order the illustration of the spectacles of the circus Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey .
It will be discovered a fascination for the topic of the circus which will lead to its Cirque Calder , a performance where intervene of the made figures of wire of iron and in which the artist plays the part of master of ceremony, of chief of track and marionnettist while making function manually the mechanism, the whole being accompanied by music and sound effects. The Cirque Calder will occur in Paris in 1926.
It settled in France in 1927, where it manufactures toys and gives representations with its circus of puppets, in wire and wood articulated. It comes into contact with artists of the Parisian artistic avant-garde like Joan Miró, Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Robert Desnos, Fernand Leger, Le Corbusier, Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian in 1930 which will have a great artistic influence on him. It gives up the figurative sculpture in wire which it had practiced since 1926 to adopt an entirely abstract sculptural language
In 1931, it is incorporated in the group Abstraction-Creation , which is devoted to nonthe figuration. To the Percier gallery, it exposes a series of abstract works referring to the natural world and the laws of the physics which control it. Built in wire and wood, the majority of these works evoke the provision of the universe. It also starts to build sculptures made up of independent variable components driven by an electrical motor or manual crank. In 1932, it exposes thirty of these qualified sculptures of mobile by Marcel Duchamp and which mark the beginning of its career.
In 1943, the Museum off Modern Art of New York organizes a first retrospective, followed in 1946 by an exposure to Paris prefaced by Jean-Paul Sartre, and in 1952, it obtains the Grand Prix of the Biennale de Venise.
In 1958, it carries out the mobile of the Parisian seat of UNESCO, ten meters in height, two tons of black steel, five arms.
In 1962 it settles in its new workshop of Carroi, a very futuristic design and dominating the valley of Low-Chevrière with Saché in Indre-et-Loire. He did not hesitate to offer his gouaches and of small mobiles to his friends of the country; he made even gift with the commune of a stabile trônant since 1974 vis-a-vis the church: a anti-sculpture freed from gravity.
He made manufacture all these stabiles and mobiles in Ets Biemont in Tours, of which " Homme" , very out of stainless steel of 24 bills of quantities top, ordered by the International Nickel of Canada (INCO) for the World Fair of Montreal in 1967. Manufacture was done according to the model realized by Calder, the research department to conceive on a real scale, then by workmen ironmongers qualified for manufacture. Calder supervised all the operations, and modified if necessary work.
He collaborated in the project of Herve Poulain, Art Bus , which consisted in personalizing a racing car for the 24 hours of Mans. In made of the same Andy Warhol, César, Arman, Roy Lichtenstein, Wolinski, Franck Stella… It was French of the American sculptors, and had the genius to transform a sheet into work of art and a can in bird. It established the link between surrealism, the abstract art and certain of the most modern research, which it anticipated thirty years.
If Alexander Calder remains today still famous for its sculptures, one should not therefore occulting its graphic work, in particular its Gouache S on paper. Those have known a renewal of intêrêt for a few years as their dimension testifies some on the market to art (their value on average increased by 300% in one year).
- Alexander Calder
- “ Pourquoi art should be static? By looking at an abstracted work, that it is of a sculpture or a painting, we see an exciting whole of plans, spheres, cores without any significance. It is perhaps perfect but it is always motionless. The following stage in sculpture is the movement. ” (1932).
- “ I entered the field of the abstract art after having visited the workshop of Piet Mondrian in Paris in 1930. (…) I was particularly impressed by rectangles of color which it had stuck to the wall. (…) I say to him that I would like to make them oscillate ”.
- “ the form which soustend my work is the system of the Universe ”.
- “ I essentially limited myself to the black and the white, dissimilar of the colors. The red is the color which is most radically opposite for them - and then the other primary educations. The secondary colors and the intermediate colors bring only confusion and disorder to the clearness and the clearness of work ”.
- “ I am sculptor to avoid the stories ”.
- Marcel Duchamp: “… the sublimation of a tree in the wind .
- Jean-Paul Sartre:
- “ its mobiles does not mean anything, do not return to only to themselves… they are absolutes ”.
- “ an object of Calder is similar with the sea and envoûtant like it: always started again, always nine ”.
- 1962, Guillotine for eight , stabile in Stainless steel, 7*7*4,67m, Museum of Modern art Lille Metropolis, Villeneuve d' Ascq, France
- 1962, Teodelapio , stainless steel stabile, Spoleto, Italy
- 1963, the Three Wings , stainless steel stabile, 3*4,5*6m, Museum of Modern art of Saint Etienne, France
- 1964, Fin , stainless steel, 4,55* 5,1*6,1m, MNAM, National center of art and culture Georges-Pompidou
- 1967, the Five Wings , stainless steel stabile, 4,8*7,8*5,9m, Floral garden of Vincennes, Paris, France
- 1967, the Man , stainless steel stabile, 21,30*22m, View-point of the Park of the Islands, Montreal, Canada
- 1969, A. Crimly , Duralumin, 3*5*2m, Amboise, France
- 1969, Ordinary , stainless steel, h. 12m
- 1970, the Cross of the South , mobile, Museum of Modern art Lille Metropolis, Villeneuve d' Ascq, France
- 1970, Stabile-Mobile , steel inoxydable7*8*5m, Museum of Modern art and contemporary of Nice, France
- 1974, red Horse , stainless steel stabile, 5*6*5,94m
- 1974, Tom' S , stainless steel stabile 5,72*5,49*6,71m
- 1975, red Great strapping fellow , stainless steel, 3,10*2,95m
- Brazilian Poisson was sold in November 1999 for the sum of 3,659 million euros.
- foundation Calder, New York
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