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Alexander Calder

In 1915 he enrolled to study mechanical engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey. He became fascinated with mathematics, physics, kinetics, engineering, and the nature of materials.

1923 found Calder in New York. He found work by painting, drawing and illustrating for newspapers and magazines. He became obsessed with the circus, which he visited frequently. This obsession would last for the rest of his life. Later he would construct a miniature circus after moving to Paris. He would put it on display for guests and charge them to help pay his rent.

He immersed himself in the Paris art scene. He was never without a pair of pliers and wire. Drawing with metal is what he called it. He adored the American dancer Josephine Baker and became fascinated with the kineticism of her body. This inspired him to do a whole series of figurative wire sculptures of her. These suspended wire constructions took Calder one step closer to the creation of his wind-driven mobiles of the 1930s.

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