A biography of alexander sandy calder americas first abstract artist of international renown

When Calder's family learned about the birth certificate, they reasserted with certainty that city officials had made a mistake. Calder's grandfather, sculptor Alexander Milne Calderwas born in Scotland, had immigrated to Philadelphia inand is best known for the colossal statue of William Penn on top of Philadelphia City Hall 's tower. His father, Alexander Stirling Calderwas a well-known sculptor who created many public installations, a majority of them in nearby Philadelphia. Calder's parents married on February 22,

A biography of alexander sandy calder americas first abstract artist of international renown

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Am I forgiven? One of the most celebrated sculptors of the twentieth century Alexander Calder changed the course of modern art. He made vivid, not infrequently witty, use of natural and manmade materials, including wire, sheet metal, wood, and bronze. His grandfather, Alexander Milne Calder, was also a sculptor — a Scottish-American artist best known for creating the statues around Philadelphia City Hall.

It is hard to believe that he created his first sculpture — little clay elephant — the same year.

Childhood and Early Works

Almost three decades later, inhe made a sculpture of bronze elephant that resembled his first clay sculpture. When he was seven years old, his grandfather contracted tuberculosis so his parents moved to a ranch in Oracle, Arizona, leaving the children in the care of family friends.

The family reunited in and stayed in Arizona until the end of the year when they moved to Pasadena, California. There Alexander created his first studio at the windowed cellar of the family home.

The duck already showed his interest in motion as it could rock to and fro when gently tapped. The two of them built together a gravity powered system of mechanical trains on wooden rails held by spikes.

Calders did not stay long in Croton. All throughout his youth, his family moved from state to state, leaving Pennsylvania for Arizona, California, and New York.

However, one thing was steady — in each new location, Alexander reserved a cellar space as a studio of his own. Finally, the American artist stayed his last high school years with friends in California so that he could graduate from Lowell High School in San Francisco in Despite his artistic talents, Calder enrolled at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken to study engineering.

He received a degree in and started working as a hydraulic and automotive engineer, logging timekeeper and ship boiler fireman.

One day in while working onboard, Calder woke up when the ship was passing the coast of Guatemala. The vision of both a rising sun and a full moon on opposite sides of the boat inspired the artist within.


The intricate motions and choreography of circuses inspired the artist to recreate the spectacle with his own circus models made from wire, leather, cloth and other materials. Soon after, he began to make toys, which he submitted to the Salon des Humoristes. Cirque Calder In Cirque Calder, the artist experimented with setting a large collection of miniature acrobats, animals, and other figures in motion using springs and pulleys, arranged in vignettes.

Each vignette was designed to be operated by Calder himself while the music was playing. The entire Circus was designed so that it could be packed up into a trunk.

He even tried, at first, to paint in an abstract manner, but soon realized that he was a much better sculptor. At the same time, Calder came back to a toy design creating several kinetic wooden push and pull toys for children, which were mass-produced by the Gould Manufacturing Company, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The Beginning of Mobiles Calder continued to create wire sculptures in three dimensions. Those were usually portraits of friends, animals, and other themes he found interesting.

Inhe held his debut solo exhibition of wire animals and caricature portraits at the Weyhe Gallery in New York.

A biography of alexander sandy calder americas first abstract artist of international renown

Next year, the Galerie Billiet gave him his first solo show in Paris. The year of is considered to be a turning point for this artist. Calder began to create abstract, kinetic sculptures, initially animated by cranks or motors. Soon, Calder realized that if suspended in air, the cranks or motors are no longer necessary.His eyes betrayed a wry humour that ran deep within the man.

He recognized intelligence and passion in others, perhaps because he had both qualities in spades. He laid it all on the line when, 42 years ago, he decided along with Henk Van der Kolk and Dusty Cohl to start Toronto s first international film festival. Alexander Calder (/ ˈ k ɔː l d ər /; July 22, – November 11, ) was an American sculptor who is best known for his innovative mobiles (kinetic sculptures powered by motors or air currents) that embrace chance in their aesthetic and his monumental public sculptures.

Born into a family of artists, Calder's work first gained attention in Paris in the s and was soon championed by Alma mater: Stevens Institute of Technology, Art Students League of New York. Born July 22, in Lawton, Pennsylvania to a family of artists, Alexander "Sandy" Calder was an abstract artist most known for his metal work sculptures containing vibrant emotion driving colors.

A biography of alexander sandy calder americas first abstract artist of international renown

But Calder was much more experienced than what he is usually accredited for. Alexander "Sandy" Calder. He is best known for his colorful, whimsical abstract public sculptures and his innovative mobiles, kinetic sculptures powered by motors or air currents, which embraced chance in their aesthetic.

Born into a family of accomplished artists, Calder's work first gained attention in Paris in . Alexander Calder was an American artist best known for his innovation of the mobile suspended sheet metal and wire assemblies that are activated in space by air currents. Visually fascinating and emotionally engaging, those sculptures — along with his monumental outdoor bolted sheet metal stabiles, which only imply movement — make Calder one of the most-recognizable and beloved modern artists.

Alexander (Sandy) Calder American Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States New York Museum of Modern Art, New York City Philadelphia Museum of Art Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC Museum of Science and Industry, BIOGRAPHY: Alexander Calder was a sculptor of international renown.

Born in Philadelphia, he grew up in.

Alexander (Sandy) Calder - Artist, Fine Art Prices, Auction Records for Alexander (Sandy) Calder