18 February 2011

Friday Inspiration: Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder has been my favorite artist since I could walk. All artists have a favorite artist, or at least one individual whose work means something to them on an intangible level. Calder makes me smile. So here are seven reasons why I love him...

1. His playfulness and joie de vivre.

2. "Steggy"

Also know as Stegosaurus, a monumental public sculpture in Hartford, Connecticut erected in 1973. I used to play under it as a little kid. I was captivated by the giant red beast. It is still very magical to me.  

(top photo by Daniel Castelli, 2001)

3. His creatures

He is famous for his monumental sculpture and mobiles, but almost any major exhibition on Calder will include a least a few of his small toy sized creatures. Some are fanciful (top, Dragon, 1957) or devised from the everyday (bottom, Elephant c.1940). They are quirky and clever.

4. His color palette

Calder's favorite color was red, and he used it in abundance. His palette was almost exclusively limited to the primary colors and black and white.  

(above, Red Nose, 1969)

5. His devotion to public sculpture

There are hundreds of public works by Calder in 24 states and 18 countries. He is pictured about with Spirale (1958), in front of the UNESCO Building in Paris. Calder spent the early part of his career in Paris and split his time between the United States and France for the remainder of his life.

6. He drew with wire

 And it leaves me speechless.  (Portrait of Amedee Ozenfant, c.1930)

7. He invented the Mobile

He created sculpture that defied gravity, played with balance, and mesmerized with movement. He made us gaze upwards and wonder.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the words for Calder.....he is one of my favorite artists too!!
missy from the bayou