Bold. Bright. Mobiles. Stabiles. These words immediately come to mind when I hear the name Alexander Calder. The 20th century artist is known for his famous mobiles which is why people refer to him as the ”Sculptor of Air.” Calder’s movable, abstract structures are creative and unique. Some of his pieces evoke visual experiences by using a limited color palette, while others evoke physical experiences by using everyday items, such as beer cans, wire, tin cans and glass. After seeing the work, I came to the conclusion that Calder has great respect for the environment and that is why he recycles and reuses. The use of broken glass, ceramics, and metal strings in Untitled reminds me of summertime.
Yellow, orange, and red are some of the colors used throughout Calder’s work. The trademark colors make his images pop and these elements are referenced by other artists. Indeed, Calder’s 1948 piece Finny Fish inspired artist Nathan Carter to create The Radar Reflector Origin Petit Calivigny Grenada mobile which is packed with color and various shapes. My favorite mobile was the Calder-inspired nature and sculptural form mobile by Kristi Lippire, Hanging Garden, which consists of copper, steel, and spray paint. The earth tone colors are amazing. My favorite stabile that represents Calder’s physical experience is Three Bolards (Trois Bollards). This dark, bold piece is made of sheet metal and bolts. If this humorously animal shaped sculpture was smaller, it would be used as a centerpiece on my dining room table.
Everyone should experience the work of Alexander Calder and those artists who were inspired by his work. The mobiles are bright and kid-friendly as well as bold and unique for any adult. After viewing the exhibition, stop by the Interactive Nasher and build your own Calder inspired mobiles.
Radar Reflector Origina Petit Calivigny Grenada. Steel, plastic, galvanized wire, aluminum, rubber, enamel paint , approximately 72 x 72 x 3 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York.