Alexander Calder, whose illustrious career spanned much of the 20th century, is the most acclaimed and influential sculptor of our time. Born in 1898, in a family of celebrated, though more classically trained artists, Calder utilized his innovative genius to profoundly change the course of modern art. He began by developing a new method of sculpting by bending and twisting wire and essentially “drew” three-dimensional figures in space. He is renowned for the invention of the mobile, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony.
Calder worked in a time of artistic upheaval and dared to concern his aesthetic revolution with a somewhat taboo topic in the art world – fun. His prolific and passionate output of paintings, lithographs, sculpture and toys brought with it a humor and sense of play unlike any that came before. He ignored the formal structure of what art could be. Called Sandy by all who knew him, he loved to play with things, and throughout his life created thousands of objects.
His first New York exhibition was in 1928, and along with subsequent exhibitions in Paris and Berlin, Calder gained international recognition as a significant artist. Working in the abstract style, in 1932 he exhibited his first moving sculpture in an exhibition organized by Marcel Duchamp, who coined the word “mobile.” From the '40s on, Calder’s works were mainly large-scale outdoor sculptures that have been placed in virtually every major city in the Western world.
Being influenced by Mondrian and Miro, Calder’s paintings exhibit the same sense of buoyancy, wit and whimsy as his sculptures, and convey a sense of movement through the uses of a single, unbroken line. The shape, color and abstraction employed by Calder capture genuine living movement, and are imbued with a consistent joy.
Alexander Calder is a giant in modern art and had a long, prolific career producing more that 16,000 works of art, an average of one work a day for 50 years. Calder died in 1976, a few weeks after a retrospective at the Whitney Museum.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, Ohio
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
Art Museum of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Artists Rights Society, New York, New York
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia
Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Dallas Museum of Art, Texas
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington
Denver Art Museum, Colorado
Fine Arts Collection, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Queens College, CUNY, New York
Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, Denver, California
Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing
Madison Museum of Fine Art, Georgia
Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas
Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York
Midwest Museum Of American Art, Elkhart, Indiana
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota
Musees Nationaux Paris, France
Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri, Columbia
Museum of Art, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.
National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming
Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma
Orlando Museum of Art, Florida
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia
Pensacola Museum Of Art, Florida
Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona
Portland Art Museum, Oregon
Portland Museum of Art, Maine
Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri
San Diego Museum of Art, California
Scotland National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York
Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute, Indiana
The Art Gallery, University of New Hampshire, Durham
The Art Museum, Princeton University, New Jersey
The Canton Museum of Art, Ohio
The Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio
The Empire State Plaza Art Collection, Albany, New York
The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman
The Hickory Museum of Art, North Carolina
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
The Newark Museum, New Jersey
The Old Jail Art Center, Albany, Texas
The Phillips Collection, Phillips Memorial Gallery, Washington, D.C.
The Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio
The University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson
The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor
The Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Town Linz Gallery/Wolfgang Gurlitt, Austria
University of California, Berkeley Art Museum
University Of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington
University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie
USC Fisher Gallery, Los Angeles, California
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut
Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts
Wright Museum of Art, Beloit, Wisconsin
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut