Essay on Alexander Calder

894 Words Oct 23rd, 1999 4 Pages
Alexander Calder was one of the most innovative and original American artists of the twentieth century. In 1926, Calder arrived in Paris and devoted himself to a project called the Circus that occupied him for over five years. This contains characters and animals made out of wire, scraps of cloth, wood, cork, labels, bits of scrap metal and pieces of rubber. Calder transported his little theater in suitcases and performed it for his friends. During his performances, Calder invented ways to simulate the flight of birds: "These are little bits of white paper, with a hole and slight weight on each one, which flutter down several variously coiled thin steel wires which I jiggle so that they flutter down like doves…" (Alexander Calder, An …show more content…
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<br>In 1933, Calder completed Object with Red Discs, a sculpture he described as a "two-meter rod with one heavy sphere, suspended from the apex of a wire. This gives quite a cantilever effect. Five thin aluminum discs project at right angels from five wires, held in position by a wooden sphere counterweight" (Calder, p.149). Thus the idea of the mobile was born in 1934. By 1939, Rusty Bottle proved that Calder was capable of "exploring all the consequences of his plastic investigations." In his autobiography he said, "I had been working on things that went round and round, driven by a small electric motor- some with no motors- some with a crank" (Calder, p.126) That same year, Calder unveiled Dancing Torpedo Shape in painted wood and wire and equipped with a small motor.
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<br>In creating his Constellations in 1943, Calder explored the plastic possibilities of mobiles; he used small pieces of wood, which he shaped and sometimes painted. From this point on, Calder's ambition changed direction. He wanted challenging creations. His mobiles took up the challenge by responding to two objectives. The first was to display objects in the air, giving the viewer the experience of finding new skies filled with moving and colored constellations. Calder accomplished this in Acoustic Ceiling (1954), or in the mobile .125. The second objective was to combine the two complementary principles of his sculptural work. The Crinkly with Red

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