Calder, Alexander


    Alexander Calder (July 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976) was an American sculptor and artist most famous for inventing mobile sculptures. In addition to mobile and stable sculpture, Alexander Calder also created paintings, lithographs, toys, tapestry, jewelry and household objects.

    In 1928, Calder held his first solo show at a commercial gallery at the Weyhe Gallery in New York City. He later exhibited with the Abstraction-Création group in Paris in 1933. In 1935, he had his first solo museum exhibition in the United States at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. In New York, he was championed from the early 1930s by the Museum of Modern Art, one of three Americans to be included in Alfred H. Barr Jr.’s 1936 exhibition Cubism and Abstract Art. Calder’s first retrospective was held in 1938 at George Walter Vincent Smith Gallery in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1943, the Museum of Modern Art hosted a well-received Calder retrospective, curated by James Johnson Sweeney and Marcel Duchamp. Calder was one of 250 sculptors who exhibited in the 3rd Sculpture International held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the summer of 1949. His mobile, International Mobile was the centerpiece of the exhibition.

    His work has since been the subject of hundreds of museum exhibitions, including Alexander Calder, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark, 1995 (traveled to: Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Musée d’art moderne, Paris, in 1996); Alexander Calder: 1898-1976, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1998 (traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art); Calder: Gravity and Grace, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, 2003 (traveled to Reina Sofia, Madrid); The Surreal Calder, Menil Collection, Houston, 2005-2006 (traveled to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Minneapolis Institute of Arts); Calder Jewelry, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, 2008 (traveled to Philadelphia Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Irish Museum of Modern Art; San Diego Museum of Art; Grand Rapids Art Museum); Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2008 (traveled to the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto); Calder, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, 2009–2010; and Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act, Seattle Art Museum, 2009–2010. Calder also participated in documentas I (1955), II (1959), III (1964). From February 11 through May 28, 2012 the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague has an exhibition about Calder, including his relationship with Piet Mondrian.