Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture - Museum Bookstore

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture

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'like the pleasure of watching snow flurry around a streetlight, a flock of birds turning in flight, the last few autumn leaves flickering in the wind, constellations hammering the night sky' - The Guardian

Calder at the Tate

Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was famous for tearing up the rule book for sculpture. He took a static and solid form and created delicate, abstract mobiles - work he described as 'pieces of poetry that dance with the joy of life and surprise'. After spells as a naval mechanic, draughtsman for Edison Company and a timekeeper in a logging camp, Calder became an artist in the mid 1920s. In addition to working as a sculptor, he was a painter, a printmaker and the creator of miniature strongmen, acrobats and animals figures from painted wire and wood for his famous circus.

This catalogue, published for the 2015 Tate's exhibition -the largest Calder show ever staged in Britain - explores the notion of performance as a driving force in Calder's sculpture and his use of other media including drawing, design, film and theatre.

The book traces the evolution of his career, from his initial years entertaining the artistic bohemia of inter-war Paris with performances of his circus, to his later life, when he became hugely popular for his mobile sculptures. 

  • Author: Ann Coxon, Curator, Displays & International Art, at Tate Modern
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Date published: November 2015
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1849763967
  • Product Dimensions: 27.5 x 22.3 x 2.6 cm

★★★★ 'an important exhibition that should be seen by anyone interested in modern art' - The Telegraph

★★★★ 'like the pleasure of watching snow flurry around a streetlight, a flock of birds turning in flight, the last few autumn leaves flickering in the wind, constellations hammering the night sky' - The Guardian

★★★★ 'Looking at Calder is one of the most singular experiences art has to offer'  - Time Out

★★★★ 'a big, serious, comprehensive exhibition, with a solid thesis and a fresh take on things' - Culture Whisper

'Calder’s aerial sculptures are unquestionably beautiful: delicately balanced arrangements of forms like fluttering leaves, subatomic particles or celestial bodies, suspended from the lightest possible cat’s cradle of wire' - The Spectator