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Synopses & Reviews
The man who put the swing into sculpture
When the final tally of key movers in the plastic arts of this century is compiled, there is no doubt that maestro of movement Alexander Calder (1898-1976), the man who put the swing into sculpture, will be near numero uno. Calder took it off the plinth, gave it to the wind, and left us kinetic playgrounds of the spirit. He operated at the point where Modernity and nature fused, developing an environmental art that changed the medium forever. Visiting his Paris atelier in 1932, Duchamp coined the term "Mobiles" for Calder`s delicate wire and disc pieces, constructions that would soon become immensely popular.
But he didn’t rest on his innovations. Friends with Miro, Mondrian and Leger, Calder also turned his hand to painting, drawing, gouaches, toys, textiles and utensil design. A graphic master who sketched as much in air as in ink, the Sixties and Seventies saw Calder take on the monumental, translating the dynamics of cities into both his Mobiles and "Stabiles". At a time when sculpture was perceived to be the antithesis of movement, Calder unmade gravity and freed the elements in a body of work that is still sending a wind of change through the art world today.
About the Series:
Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Art Series features:
Celebrating the centenary of the birth of one of the most influential 20th-century sculptors, Alexander Calder, this illustrated text explores both his life and works, including lesser known pieces, examined and analyzed in detail.
Alexander Calder is one of the most importantand#8212;and most popularand#8212;American artists of the twentieth century. This lavishly illustrated volume accompanies an exhibit at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Dand#252;sseldorf that focuses on Calderand#8217;s works of the 1930s and and#8217;40s, a period in which the sculptor experimented with a number of wildly different artistic directions.
In addition to showcasing a large number of Calderand#8217;s early abstract sculptures, this book also presents key works by his contemporaries, artists such as Piet Mondrian, Joan Mirand#243;, and Jean Arp. By setting Calderand#8217;s work alongside that of other artists, the volume establishes not only lines of influence and differentiation, but also the larger context in which he created his sculptures. Beautiful full-page images of Calderand#8217;s iconic mobiles and stabiles give a rare sense of Calderand#8217;s often playful use of space, and enable readers to study his work in detail. An accompanying DVD includes historical and experimental films, avant-garde music, interviews, and a walk through the exhibition, bringing the whole of Calderand#8217;s achievement to life in unprecedented fashion.
About the Author
Jacob Baal-Teshuva, born 1929, is author, critic and independent curator of museum shows. He studied at the Hebrew university in Jerusalem and the New York University. His numerous publications include works on Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Jacob Baal-Teshuva lives and works in New York and Paris.
Table of Contents
Alexander S. C. Rower
Avant-Garde in Motion
Calder and Sound
Gryphon Rue Rower-Upjohn
Play Objects: Theatricality in the Work of Alexander Calder
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