From the invention of the mobile to the creation of outdoor sculpture on a grand scale

in bolted steel plate, the American artist Alexander Calder (1898–1976) profoundly

transformed the histor y of modern art.

Writing in 1933, Calder asked: “Why not plastic forms in motion? Not a simple

translator y or rotar y motion but several motions of different types, speeds and

amplitudes composing to make a resultant whole. Just as one can compose colors or

forms, so one can compose motions.”

Over the course of seven decades, Calder made some 22,000 works that range from

wire sculptures, mobiles, stabiles, monumental sculptures, paintings and drawings to

lesser-known works such as jewelr y, bronzes and domestic objects


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