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Alexander Calder

  • American sculptor
  • Born July 22, 1898
  • Died November 11, 1976

Alexander Calder (; July 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976) 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 1920s and was soon championed by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, resulting in a retrospective exhibition in 1943. Major retrospectives were also held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1964) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1974).


To an engineer, good enough means perfect. With an artist, there's no such thing as perfect.

To an engineer, good enough means perfect. With an artist, there's no such thing as perfect.




The underlying sense of form in my work has been the system of the universe, or part thereof. For that is a rather large model to work from.




Just as one can compose colors, or forms, so one can compose motions.




I have been making wire jewelry - and think I'll really do something with it, eventually.




I paint with shapes.




My fan mail is enormous. Everyone is under six.




Why must art be static? You look at an abstraction, sculptured or painted, an entirely exciting arrangement of planes, spheres, nuclei, entirely without meaning. It would be perfect, but it is always still. The next step in sculpture is motion.



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