ALEXAN­DER CALDER : Pop­u­lar and Loved Artist


Alexan­der Calder (1898-1976) was an easy-go­ing, pleas­ant and fun-lov­ing per­son and his work re­flected th­ese char­ac­ter­is­tics. Add to this, phys­i­cal and men­tal dex­ter­ity, a sci­en­tific mind and cre­ativ­ity and orig­i­nal­ity that broke through sculp­tural cus­toms and tra­di­tions. He be­came one of the most pop­u­lar and loved artists of his time, highly ap­pre­ci­ated as one of the great sculp­tors of the 20th cen­tury. His colour­ful work in red, blue, yel­low, black and white, is de­light­ful and gives great plea­sure. This Amer­i­can artist is one of his cen­tury’s unique sculp­tors and is now con­sid­ered a pi­o­neer for 21st cen­tury art move­ments, such as in­stal­la­tions and mo­bile art.

Calder came from a long line of artists, as both his father and grand­fa­ther were suc­cess­ful sculp­tors, and his mother was a por­trait painter. He first showed artis­tic in­cli­na­tion as a boy by col­lect­ing pieces of cop­per wire from the street to make jew­ellery for his sis­ter’s dolls. Then, at eleven, he sculpted a Christ­mas present for his par­ents, a dog and a duck, and made the duck rock when gen­tly touched.

Fear­ing he would suf­fer as an artist, his par­ents ad­vised him to study me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing, which helped him tremen­dously in his mech­a­nised mo­biles. Later, when asked why he stud­ied me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing in­stead of art, his an­swer was: “I wanted to be

'Her­cules and Lion' 1928

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