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Alexander Calder

By the 1940’s, Calder dream of monumental sculpture was realized. Jean Arp suggested the term stabiles to describe the abstract monuments of bolted steel, based on ship building techniques. The stabiles have an implied, lyrical movement. They suggest primordial animal forms.

Calder began to change the very concept of public sculpture. His stabiles gave poorly designed stark public spaces a humane touch. Calder began to design sculptures with site specificity in mind. As Calder’s fame increased, he painted jet airliners and racecars, but always with total honesty and integrity to his art.

In the 1960’s, he became a voice for the anti–Vietnam War campaign. Throughout his long prolific career, Calder produced more than16,000 works, at an average of one work a day for fifty years. The quality of his work was consistent, always imbued with a joy, pleasure and a child like quality. His work never became banal or sentimental.

Calder died in 1976, a few weeks after a retrospective at the Whitney Museum. Calder is a giant of modern art. He used the Universe as his model and in doing so, created his own unique universe.

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