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Alexander Calder

Even before he began composing abstract elements to form mobiles, Calder had taken into account the delicate equilibrium the sculpture would need to hang properly and move freely. It was Calder's first essay in kineticism, an interest that occupied him for decades thereafter. In 1927, Calder held his first solo exhibition in New York, which was a modest success.

1930 was another defining year in Calder’s artistic life. He visited Piet Mondrian in Paris. In the studio, the American had seen a white wall with cardboard rectangles of varying colors tacked upon it. This wall actually impressed him more than Mondrian's paintings, and Calder proposed that the rectangles could be made to oscillate in different directions, and at different amplitudes. Mondrian said, "No! My paintings are already very fast. " This meeting with Mondrian left a lasting impression upon Calder, The visit proved to be the "shock that started things," as he said later.

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