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Portrait of the artist
Portrait of the artist

Alexander Calder was born in 1898 in Lawnton, Pennsylvania into a family of renowned sculptors. He studied engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey from 1915 to 1919, whereupon he began producing his first artistic works. In 1926, Calder moved to Paris - the centre of the European avant-garde at the time - in order to begin his studies at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. There he created, built his Cirque Calder using wire, wood and cloth. His first solo exhibition in Paris was held at Pierre Vorms’ Galerie Billiet in 1929. Two years later, Calder joined the artists’ group Abstraction-Création and his focus increasingly turned to abstraction. In 1930, he met Piet Mondrian and other European avant-garde artists who he befriended along the way as he developed a unique, kinetic form of art. Calder began employing an intuitive sense of balance and movement into his pieces to create moveable sculptures. His mobiles, a series of perfectly balanced constructions, challenged the idea that a work of art should be a static object.

Almost as a counterpoint to his light, airy mobiles, Calder later began to create immobile, massive, sometimes monumental constructions out of sheet metal, which Jean Arp dubbed stabiles. As well as sculptural work, Calder produced drawings, paintings, weavings, stage settings and book illustrations. In 1933, Calder returned to his home country, the USA. He went on to represent the USA at the Venice Biennale in 1952, winning the grand prize for sculpture. His work is represented in some of the most prestigious collections of modern art, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Alexander Calder died unexpectedly in November 1976, shortly after opening a major retrospective show at the Whitney Museum in New York.

Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions
2017
Alexander Calder. Motion Lab

SFMOMA - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, USA

2015
Alexander Calder. Performing Sculpture

Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom

2014
Calder. Space in Play

James Goodman Gallery Inc., New York, NY, USA

2014
Alexander Calder. The Art of Invention

Pace, Menlo Park, CA, USA

2014
Alexander Calder at the Rijkmuseum

Rijkmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2014
Ugo Mulas "Circus Calder”

Merano Arte, Meran, Italy

2013
In the Library

The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

2013
Calder

Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea

2013
Calder and Abstraction – From Avant-Garde to Iconic

LACMA – County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2013
Calder & Melotti – Children of the Sky

Ronchini Gallery, London, United Kindom

2013
Alexander Calder

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, USA

2013
Alexander Calder. Avantgarde in Bewegung

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K20, Düsseldorf, Germany

2012
Alexander Calder

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, Netherlands

2012
Butterflies in Our Midst

Kennedy Museum of Art, Athens, OH, USA

2012
Calder Noir

Kukje Gallery, Seoul, South Korea

2012
Alexander Calder

L&M Arts, Los Angeles, Venice, CA, USA

2012
The Complete Bronzes

L&M Arts, New York, NY, USA

2012
Building the Collection: Art Acquired in the 1990s

Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR, USA

2011
Alexander Calder

Gagosian Gallery, London, United Kingdom

2011
Calder's Portraits: A New Language

The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, USA

2011
Calder

Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV, USA

2011
Alexander Calder: Gouaches

Pace Prints, New York City, NY, USA

2011
Alexander Calder: 1941

The Pace Gallery, New York City, NY, USA

2010
Calder Jewelry

GRAM - Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI, USA

2010
Retrospective

Zadok Art Gallery, Miami, FL, USA

2010
Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy

Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX, USA

2010
Modern Masters

Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FL, USA

2010
Alexander Calder

Van de Weghe Fine Art, New York City, NY, USA

2010
Alexander Calder

Gagosian Gallery, New York City, NY, USA

2009
Alexander Calder: The Paris Years 1926–1933

Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

2009
The Discerning Eye: Focus on Alexander Calder

San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, USA

2009
Calder Jewellery

Irish Museum of Modern Art - IMMA, Dublin, Ireland

2009
Alexander Calder Jewelry

Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, CA, USA

2009
Alexander Calder: Printmaker

Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT, USA

2009
Alexander Calder, Les années parisiennes, 1926-1933

Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France

2009
Alexander Calder

Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy

2008
Calder Jewelry

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

2008
Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA

2008
Calder Jewelry

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA

2008
Alexander Calder: Gouaches

Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York, NY, USA

2007
Focus: Alexander Calder

MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA

2007
Alexander Calder in Focus

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

2006
Calder: La forma y el sueño

CEART - Centro de Arte Tomás y Valiente, Madrid, Spain

2006
Calder: Gouaches 1942-1976

Pace Wildenstein, New York, NY, USA

2006
Alexander Calder - The Kite that Never Flew

Nevada Museum of Art NMA, Reno, NE, USA

2006
Fêtes by Jacques Prévert and Alexander Calder

Osterman Common Room, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

2006
The Surreal Calder

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA, USA

2006
Alexander Calder: From Model to Monument

PaceWildenstein, New York, NY, USA

2005
The Surreal Calder

The Menil Collection, Houston, TX, USA

2005
Alexander Calder in Focus - Works from the Leonard and Ruth Horwich Family Loan

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

2005
Alexander Calder - Monumental Sculpture

Gagosian Gallery - Madison Avenue, New York, NY, USA

Group exhibitions
2013
Eine Handvoll Erde aus dem Paradies

Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany

2013
Abstraction Création

Het Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort, Netherlands

2013
Artistic Relationships: Partners, Mentors, Lovers

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, NC, USA

2012
The Supersurrealism

Moderna Museet Malmö, Malmö, Sweden

2012
Visions of Modernity

Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany

2012
Work – Work – Work

Museum Liner, Appenzell, Switzerland

2012
Circus Wols

Weserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen, Germany

2012
Parallelwelt Zirkus

Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria

2011
Shelter

Peter Freeman, Inc., New York City, NY, USA

2011
Masterpieces Of The 20th Century From The Collection Of The Valencia Institute Of Modern Art (ivam)

Moscow museum of modern art, Moscow, Russia

2011
Dance Your Life

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France

2011
Changes of Scenes

Moderna Museet Malmö, Malmö, Sweden

2010
On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century

Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY, USA

2010
Los juguetes de las vanguardias

Museo Picasso Málaga, Málaga, Spain

2010
Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, IL, USA

2010
Calder to Warhol: Introducing the Fisher Collection

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, USA

2010
Le Mouvement. Vom Kino zur Kinetik

Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland

2010
Le Rêve - Der Traum - Motiv und Metapher

Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum, Germany

2010
Paris and the Avant-Garde: Modern Masters from the Guggenheim Collection

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY, USA

2009
Passions partagées. De Cézanne à Rothko, chefs-d’œuvre du XXe siècle dans les collections privées suisses

Fondation de l'Hermitage, Lausanne, Switzerland

2009
Play - Film and Video

Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

2009
Scapa Memories. Eine Sammlung

Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland

2009
Sculpture: Post-War to Present - Maxwell Davidson Gallery

New York City, NY, USA

2009
Bilderträume. Die Sammlung Ulla und Heiner Pietzsch

Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany

2009
Art in Blue Blue in Art - Sculpture, Painting and Art Furniture in Blue

The Columns, Seoul, South Korea

2009
Gipfeltreffen der Moderne - Das Kunstmuseum Winterthur

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany

2008
Die Hände der Kunst

MARTa Herford, Herford, Germany

2008
Skulpturen im Blickpunkt

Städtische Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany

2008
Cosas del Surrealismo

Museo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, Bilbao, Spain

2008
Miró, Calder, Giacometti, Braque

Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom

2008
The Hands of Art

SMAK Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium

2008
The American Scene

British Museum, London, United Kingdom

2007
Modernism

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY, USA

2007
Il segno, il colore, la forma

Centro de Arte Moderna e Contemporanea della Spezia, La Spezia, Spain

2007
Lo[s] Cinético[s]

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain

2007
Uncontained

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY, USA

2007
Raum - Orte der Kunst

Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany

2007
Extra-Ordinary: The Everyday Object in American Art

Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX, USA

2007
The Shapes of Space

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY, USA

2007
Miró and Calder

Irish Museum of Modern Art - IMMA, Dublin, Ireland

2007
Surreal Things; Surrealism and Design

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom

2006
AUTO-NOM-MOBILE

Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel, Germany

2006
Berlin-Tokyo/Tokyo-Berlin. Die Kunst zweier Städte

Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany

2006
Und es bewegt sich doch ...

Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum, Germany

2006
Degas to Picasso - Modern Masters

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MA, USA

2006
Fest der Farbe; Die Sammlung Merzbacher-Mayer

Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

2006
Full House: Views of the Whitney’s Collection at 75

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY, USA

2006
The Surreal Calder

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN, USA

2006
Exil und Moderne – H.W. Janson und die Sammlung der Washington University in St. Louis

Museum für Neue Kunst, Freiburg, Germany

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