Alexander Calder is labelled a pioneer of modern sculpture for developing the ‘mobile’.
Originally from New York, Alexander Calder moved to Paris in 1926 to study at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. It was during this time that Calder began to experiment with different styles of sculpture, developing his first small figure of wire, wood and cloth. In 1931, Calder joined the group Abstraction-Creation and started to make the sculptures which Marcel Duchamp gave the name ‘mobiles’. These suspended, perfectly balanced moving sculptures (see Cirque Calder – Calder’s Circus) were made of metal elements, wires, threads and sticks. Becoming more complex and abstract over the years, Calder’s ‘mobiles’ always maintained a playful airiness and great poetry.
As well as creating both moving and large-scale outdoor sculptures, Calder worked in many other art forms. He produced drawings, oil paintings, watercolors, etchings, gouache, lithographs and serigraphy.