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Alexander Calder Sculptures

American, 1898-1976
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.

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Artist:Alexander Calder
Jerusalem Stabile (Intermediate Maquette)
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A sculpture by Alexander Calder. "Jerusalem Stabile (Intermediate Maquette)" is an abstract sculpture, painted steel in a bold red by Post-War American artist Alexander Calder. "Jeru...
Category

Mid-20th Century Post-War Alexander Calder Sculptures

Materials

Metal, Steel

Red Versus Yellow
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A sculpture by Alexander Calder. "Red Versus Yellow" is an abstract, mobile sculpture in sheet metal, wire and paint and executed in bright, primary colors by Post War artist Alexand...
Category

1970s Post-War Alexander Calder Sculptures

Materials

Metal, Wire

Cantilever
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A sculpture by Alexander Calder. "Cantilever" is an abstract, mobile sculpture by Post War artist Alexander Calder. Made from sheet metal, wire and paint, "Cantilever" is executed in...
Category

1970s Post-War Alexander Calder Sculptures

Materials

Metal, Wire

Woman with Square Umbrella
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A sculpture in wood depicting a woman holding an umbrella. "Woman with Square Umbrella" by Post War artist Alexander Calder is signed underneath, "Calder." "Woman with a Square Umbre...
Category

1920s Post-War Alexander Calder Sculptures

Materials

Wood

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H 29.375 in. W 41.125 in.
Vive
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
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H 30 in. W 43.375 in.
Cercles
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
An artwork by Alexander Calder. "Cercles" is an abstract painting, gouache and ink on paper in bold colors of reds, blues, and blacks by Post-War, American artist Alexander Calder. T...
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  • Cercles
  • Cercles
H 30.75 in. W 22.5 in.
Colonial Organisms
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
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Previously Available Items
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metal, wire and paint Provenance: Acquired from the Artist; Gift to the present owner.
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1940s American Modern Alexander Calder Sculptures

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Alexander Calder sculptures for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Alexander Calder sculptures for sale. You can also browse by medium to find art by Alexander Calder in metal, paint, wire and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th Century and is mostly associated with the Post-War style. Not every interior allows for large Alexander Calder sculptures, so small editions measuring 6 inches across are available. Customers interested in this artist might also find the work of Brad Rude, Suzan Etkin and Dudley Vaill Talcott. Alexander Calder sculptures prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $250,000 and tops out at $1,950,000, while the average work can sell for $1,100,000.

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