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Alexander Calder, Portrait de Constantin Tacou

Alexander Calder Portrait de Constantin Tacou, 1974

View in a room Print 19.3 x 13.4 inch 1 remaining copy


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Alexander Calder, Portrait de Constantin Tacou

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Alexander Calder

Born in: 1898 United States

Famous artist


Alexander Calder, a major sculptor of the abstract movement, was born in 1898 in Lawton, Pennsylvania and passed away in 1976 in New York. As a child he liked building things, and went on to study mechanical engineering. His engineering background later gave him the knowledge to develop the mechanisms of his sculptures. In 1923, he decided to devote himself fully to art and went to New York to pursue his fine art studies.

His first freehand drawings depicting athletes, acrobats and street scenes were early indicators of his sculptural style. He drew animals at the zoo and began taking an interest in movement and how to animate his work. In 1929, he moved to Paris and met some of the most important artists of the time such as Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp and Joan Miró.

Upon seeing Piet Mondrian's coloured squares for the first time in 1930 - a veritable revelation for him - he imagined them floating in space; movement later became the main “material" of his work. He embraced geometric abstraction and produced moving wire sculptures or "mobiles" as Marcel Duchamp called them. They broke completely with the dense and imposing sculptures of the time, indeed his works are marked by their lightness. This was the beginning of kinetic art, even if for Alexander Calder the goal was not so much movement, but the search for balance, symmetry, silence, lightness and subtlety...

From 1933 onwards, Alexander Calder's works received critical and public acclaim, in particular his painting "La Fontaine de Mercure" shown at the Universal Exhibition in 1937. In 1952, he received the Grand Prize at the Venice Biennale, and in 1964 the Guggenheim dedicated a major retrospective to him. His influence still resonates today: in 2016, the Tate Modern held a major retrospective on the legendary sculptor.

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Alexander Calder, Portrait de Constantin Tacou
Alexander Calder, Portrait de Constantin Tacou Alexander Calder, Portrait de Constantin Tacou