Alexander Calder

Art & Design

The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art is having an exhibition of Alexander Calder currently. I went yesterday and was very impressed. The exhibit will look at various stages and pieces of his 50 year career.


Alexander Calder invented mobiles, sculpture that moved, in the early 1930s. Later, he added large-scale stabiles, fixed sculpture. During World War II, Calder created the Constellations series.  Many, like the Vertical Constellation with Bomb, rest on a flat surface, but some Constellations are mounted from the wall at an angle.

Most are constructed using small abstract forms carved from wood that are carefully arranged in three dimensions. The materials are either painted or left unfinished.

Alexander_calder Vertical Constellation with Bomb (1943) Painted steel wire, Painted wood and wood.

Calder said "(Constellations) had for me a specific relationship to the Universes which I had done in the early 1930s. They had a suggestion of some kind of cosmic nuclear gases—which I won’t try to explain. I was interested in the extremely delicate, open composition."

Other modern art works:

Andrew_calder_2 Stegosaurus (1972) Painted Steel

Calder_2 Untitled (1962) Gouache on Paper

As an FYI…on a larger scale, there is a HUGE display at the National Gallery of Art.

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