Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder (1898-1976)

Alexander Calder (1898-1976)

The Alexander Calder exhibition currently running at the Tate Modern until 3 April is exciting, joyful and playful. Famous for his mobile sculptures, the American Alexander Calder came from a family of sculptors and painters but trained and worked firstly as an engineer before returning 1 to the world of art.

"Performing Sculpture" exhibits about 100 works which illustrate the development of his practice, culminating in his 'mobile' creations.

Calder was an important, groundbreaking 20th century figure, a pioneer of the kinetic art that introduced movement into artistic practice. Born in Pennsylvania in 1898 and educated as a mechanical engineer, Calder moved to Paris in the 1920's where he entered art school and created his early wire sculptures. By 1931 he had invented the 'mobile', a term coined by Marcel Duchamp to describe Calder's motorised objects.

"Calder is one of those artists who, the moment his name is mentioned, a picture forms in your head - and the picture is never quite true to the work," says Achim Borchardt- Hume, the director of exhibitions at the Tate Modern.

" There is more variety in Calder's work than many realise", he says. That variety includes jewellery and mechanical toys as well as abstract paintings and both stationary and mobile sculptures.

"It took decades of experimentation for the artist, who trained as an engineer, to take sculpture from a static object that suggests movement to something that actually performs movement, " says Borchardt-Hume.

The exhibition traces the development of his unique work from early wire figurative forms, to motorised automata and finally to suspended, articulated combinations of wire and shaped metal sheet that move without motors in response to invisible currents of air.

The exhibition ends dramatically with, 'Black Widow 1948' - a 12 ft (3.5 metre) tall mobile - probably Calder's masterpiece, which has left its home in Brazil to be shown here. The air currents created by visitors moving keeps the mobile gently rotating -

"like clouds drifting across the sky".

By Claudia Barbieri



考尔德是20世纪有突破性的一位重要人物,是将运动引入到艺术实践的动态艺术的先驱。他于1898年出生于宾夕法尼亚州,是一名机械工程师;20世纪20年代,考尔德移居巴黎进入艺术学校,并创造了他早期的电线雕塑。1931年,他发明了“移动”,用来形容他的电动对象,而该术语杜撰自Marcel Duchamp。

“卡尔德是这样一位艺术家,当他的名字被提及,你的脑海里就会浮现一幅画——而那幅画却从来和作品完全不一致,”泰特现代美术馆展览总监Achim Borchardt-Hume说道。




展览最后引人注目的《黑寡妇1948》——一个12英尺(3.5米)高的移动物体——这可以说是考尔德的杰作,从他巴西的家中搬到在这里展出。游客移动产生的气流让作品持续轻轻的转动—— “如云飘过天空”。

By Claudia Barbieri

The Maker