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Alexander Calder

American, 1898-1976

The American sculptor Alexander Calder is known as the father of the mobile, a moving artwork composed of delicately balanced sculptural forms suspended from the ceiling.

Because Calder's parents, both artists themselves, did not want him to suffer the hardships of trying to make a living in art, they encouraged the young Calder to study mechanical engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. He worked a number of jobs, including as a hydraulic engineer and draftsman for the New York Edison Company, before deciding to pursue an artistic career. He never abandoned his engineering background, however, applying his understanding of gears and moving parts in all his artworks, from mechanical toys like the Cirque Calder (1931) and his revered prints to his free-standing abstract sculptures, called stabiles.

In 1926, Calder moved to Paris and established a studio in the Montparnasse quarter. He began creating the many parts of his famous miniature circus from found materials, such as wire, string, cloth, rubber and cork. Designed to be transportable, Cirque grew to fill five suitcases over the years. Always interested in putting forms in motion, Calder also pioneered a new art form called wire sculptures, which he described as “drawings in space.” Like his famous mobiles, the wire sculptures were suspended so that they turned with any movement of the air, presenting different forms when viewed from different angles.

In the 1950s, Calder returned to his roots in mechanical engineering, creating monumental abstract sculptures that verged on the architectural. He worked from loose gestural drawings like this preparatory sketch for his Man Stabile, from 1966. Throughout his career, he also worked as a set designer for the theater, as well as an illustrator and printmaker, producing vibrant, whimsical drawings for books and journals.

Find original Alexander Calder art today on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$2,093
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Materials
Sky Swirl (Braniff Flying Colors), 1974 Ltd Ed Lithograph, Alexander Calder
By Alexander Calder
Located in Mount Clemens, MI
ALEXANDER CALDER (1898-1976) Credited with the invention of the mobile, Alexander Calder revolutionized twentieth-century art with his innovative use of subtle air currents to animat...
Category

1970s Modern Alexander Calder

Materials

Lithograph

Skybird - Original Lithograph by Alexander Calder - 1974
By Alexander Calder
Located in Roma, IT
Skybird is an original artwork realized by Alexander Calder in 1974. Original lithograph on Arches wove paper. From the rare limited edition Suite "The Flying Colors Collection". ...
Category

1970s Abstract Alexander Calder

Materials

Lithograph

1971 Alexander Calder 'DLM no. 190 Page 9' Surrealism Lithograph
By Alexander Calder
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Paper Size: 15 x 11 inches ( 38.1 x 27.94 cm ) Image Size: 15 x 11 inches ( 38.1 x 27.94 cm ) Framed: No Condition: A-: Near Mint, very light signs of handling Additional Detai...
Category

1970s Alexander Calder

Materials

Lithograph

1968 Alexander Calder 'Derriere le Miroir no.173 Double Page' Surrealism
By Alexander Calder
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Paper Size: 15 x 22 inches ( 38.1 x 55.88 cm ) Image Size: 15 x 22 inches ( 38.1 x 55.88 cm ) Framed: No Condition: A-: Near Mint, very light signs of handling Additional Detai...
Category

1960s Alexander Calder

Materials

Lithograph

Alexander Calder Skyswirl
By Alexander Calder
Located in Washington, DC
Alexander Calder Skyswirl Artist: Alexander Calder Medium: Original lithograph Title: Skyswirl Portfolio: Flying Colors Year: 1974 Edition: Open Signed: In the stone Framed Size: 33"...
Category

1970s Alexander Calder

Materials

Lithograph

Untitled (Plate 5) DLM
By Alexander Calder
Located in Fairlawn, OH
Unsigned (as issued) From: Derriere le Miroir, No. 141 Edition: 1500? Published by A. Maeght, Paris
Category

1960s Abstract Alexander Calder

Materials

Lithograph

Composition - Vintage Lithograph by Alexander Calder - 1970s
By Alexander Calder
Located in Roma, IT
Composition is an original Color lithograph realized in the 1970s for the exhibition at Galleria Rondanini, Rome. Good conditions.
Category

1960s Abstract Alexander Calder

Materials

Lithograph

Beastie
By Alexander Calder
Located in Washington, DC
Alexander Calder Beastie Artist: Alexander Calder Medium: Original lithograph Title: Beastie Portfolio: Flying Colors Year: 1974 Edition: Open Signed: In the stone Framed Size: 33" x...
Category

1970s Alexander Calder

Materials

Lithograph

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Alexander Calder art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Alexander Calder art available for sale. If you're looking for art to add a pop of color to a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of orange, red, yellow and other colors. You can also browse art by Alexander Calder in lithograph, paint, gouache and more by medium. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th Century and is mostly associated with the Modern style. Not every interior allows for large Alexander Calder art, so small editions measuring 0.20000000298023224 inches across are available. Those interested in this artist might also find the works of Louisa Chase, Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall. Art prices for Alexander Calder can vary depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $150 and tops out at $1,950,000, while the average work can sell for $805.

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