Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Calder: The Artist Who Made Art Fun

As you may already know, the art world takes itself very seriously - not so for Alexander Calder (1898-1976). Calder believed in creativity through playfulness. You have only to look at the YouTube video made in 1955 when he was 57 years of age. He is squatting on the floor playing with a miniature circus with figures he made from wire.

If his names sounds familiar it may be because he is the inventor of the mobile. This invention sprung from being born into a family of famous artists combined with his schooling in mechanics and engineering.

As with other modern artist of the time such as Modrian, he was more drawn to shapes and colors over identifiable objects. His inventive mind led him to create sculptures that would be surprising and playful. When the artist Marcel Duchamp saw the results, he referred to them as "mobiles."

Beyond the Calder's mobiles that made him famous, he would create thousands of items during his lifetime - from large metal sculptures to jewelry. As you look at these images, I bet you can recall seeing at least one object created by Calder and inspired by his sense of playfulness.


  1. His work does look like fun toys - except the jewelry. I'm going to check out the Utube on him. I didn't know he had invented the mobile. I thought it was something ancient. Jen

  2. I had never heard of him so I watched the YouTube video. It's amazing that he built all of the pieces, and they all work together. I think he would be really fun to hang out with. (Well, not any more.)


  3. woo hoo, nice! Have alsways loved his choices of color.

  4. I love Calder's art. He inspires me to create art from a totally new perspective.

    1. Have you seen his video? His delight is infectious.