From the invention of the mobile to the creation of outdoor sculpture on a grand scale in bolted steel plate, the American artist Alexander Calder (1898–1976) profoundly transformed the history of modern art.
Writing in 1933, Calder asked: “Why not plastic forms in motion? Not a simple transitory or rotary motion but several motions of different types, speeds and amplitudes composing to make a resultant whole. Just as one can compose colors or forms, so one can compose motions.”
Over the course of seven decades, Calder made some 22,000 works that range from wire sculptures, mobiles, stabiles, monumental sculptures, paintings and drawings to lesser-known works such as jewelry, bronzes and domestic objects.