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Alexander CALDER

(1898 - 1976)


American painter and sculptor born 22 July, 1898 in Lawton near Philadelphia and died 11 November, 1976 in New York.

Alexander Calder is best known for his "mobiles" and "stabiles".  Before him,  no one knew that a "mobile" was a sculpture in motion. We owe the invention of the term to Marcel Duchamp.  Calder describes the scene: "There was an object with three elements. The object had just been painted and was not yet dry.  Marcel asked me, "May I?  "He put his hand on it and the object seemed to please him (...) I asked him what name I should give these objects and he immediately said 'mobile'."
Just as Marcel Duchamp gave a name to the works that move, Jean Arp named those that did not move in 1933: "What are these things you made ​​last year, stabiles? ".

Calder later merged the two principles in his stabile-mobiles as, for example, with L’Empennage in 1953 which is part of the Maeght Foundation’s collection.
Calder was introduced to Aimé Maeght by Christian Zervos, editor of the Cahiers d’art.  His mobiles were exhibited in June 1950 at the Galerie Maeght.  It was the beginning of a long partnership. In 1963, Calder created a huge "stabile", Les Renforts, for the gardens of the Maeght Foundation.


Mobile on top
Stabile below
This is the Eiffel Tower
Calder is like her.

Chiseler of iron
Watchmaker of the wind
Trainer of black wildcats
Hilarious engineer
Disturbing architect
Sculptor of time

Such is Calder

Jacques Prévert
Extract from « Oiseleur du fer » from Derrière le Miroir No. 156. Maeght Publisher. Paris, February 1966.

 

 

Dimanche dans le jardinDimanche dans le jardinL'empennageLes renforts
Dimanche dans le jardin, 1974

Gouache
110 x 75 cm
L'empennage, 1953

Mobile-stabile
150 x 284 cm
Mobile en haut
Stabile en bas
Telle est la tour Eiffel
Calder est comme elle.

Ciseleur du fer
Horloger du vent
Dresseur de fauves noirs
Ingénieur hilare
Architecte inquiétant
Sculpteur du temps

Tel est Calder

Jacques Prévert
Extrait de « Oiseleur du fer » in Derrière le Miroir n°156. Maeght Editeur. Paris, février 1966.
Les renforts, 1963

Stabile
630 x 500 cm

Mobile en haut
Stabile en bas
Telle est la tour Eiffel
Calder est comme elle.

Ciseleur du fer
Horloger du vent
Dresseur de fauves noirs
Ingénieur hilare
Architecte inquiétant
Sculpteur du temps

Tel est Calder

Jacques Prévert
Extrait de « Oiseleur du fer » in Derrière le Miroir n°156. Maeght Editeur. Paris, février 1966.