Synopses & Reviews
Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is a key presence in the history of modern art, and yet he is rarely seen or remembered in the context from which he initially emerged as an artist.and#160; When Calder became "Calder" and#150; well known for his signature mobiles and stabiles and#150; it was due to a unique variety of presiding influences.and#160; His artistic parentage consisted of Marcel Duchamp, who provided the name of and concept for the mobile; Piet Mondrian, who introduced pure abstraction to him; and Joan Mirand#243;, who communicated the central theses of Surrealism.and#160; Although Calder went on to play a major role in Surrealist manifestations during the formative years of the movement, including being shown in the defining 1936 "Exposition surrand#233;aliste d'objets" in Paris, he has since been separated from those beginnings.and#160; Indeed, at this point in time, Calder is never included in exhibitions of Surrealist art, even though he was incubated by that phenomenon and contributed mightily to it.
This book will put the artist back in midst of Surrealism so that his achievement is more profoundly understood within that context.and#160;Works by artists such as Mirand#243;, Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, and Renand#233; Magritte will delineate the Surrealist milieu and some of its chief aspects.and#160; The following theses are also explored: Calder's wit, caricature, and linear flights of fancy; his marvelous personages and fantastic creatures; biomorphic forms from an imaginary vision of nature; and his constellations, apparent views of celestial space.
andldquo;Calder brought playful motion to high art: primary colors hanging in the balance of that kinetic object of infancy, the mobile. [Alexander Calder: Avant-Garde in Motion] celebrates the achievements of this American master with new insight and photos of the man at work.andrdquo;
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.and#160;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
Mark Rosenthal is adjunct curator at The Menil Collection and author of Joseph Beuys: Actions, Vitrines, Environments (Menil/Yale 2004).and#160; Francisco Calvo Serraller is a scholar from Madrid.and#160; Alexander S.C. Rower is Alexander Calder's grandson.
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