(Click to enlarge.)

1898 - 1976
Color Lithograph
18 X 36 Inches
Hand Signed and Numbered
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Artist Biography

One of America’s best known sculptors, “Sandy” Calder became most famous for his kinetic abstract mobiles.  He also did floor pieces, was a painter in watercolor, oil and gouache, did etchings and serigraphs, & made jewelry & tapestries as well designed theater stage settings and architectural interiors.

Born in Philadelphia, the son of Alexander Sterling Calder and the grandson of Alexander Milne Calder, well-known sculptors of public monumental works.  His mother, Nanette Lederer Calder, was a professional portrait painter. Obviously he was nurtured in an environment of art, and from an early age, he was making figures from found objects.

In 1925, he produced an illustrated book titled Animal Sketching, one-line drawings that foreshadowed his early wire sculptures of figures & animals.  In 1926, encouraged by an engineer friend of his father to follow his talent, he went to Paris and shortly after his arrival began doing wire sculpture.  He assembled a “Circus” of miniature, hand activated one-wire figures with which he gave performances in his studio.  These pieces were made by bending & twisting a single wire into humorous portraits, animals, & figure groups.

He also met many of the leading avant-garde artists of the day including Piet Mondrian, who influenced Calder’s geometric, non-objective constructions that he began producing in 1931.  His floor pieces, named “stabiles” by Jean Arp, were exhibited in a gallery exhibition organized by Marcel Duchamp, who coined the word “mobile” for the hanging, kinetic pieces.  Soon, Calder was creating many of these wind-driven works.

His death in 1976 occurred coincidentally with a major retrospective of his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.