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Alexander Calder, 1898-1976

Prather, Marla

15 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0300075189 / ISBN 13: 9780300075182
Published by Yale University Press, 1998
Used Condition: Good
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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP71597630

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Alexander Calder, 1898-1976

Publisher: Yale University Press

Publication Date: 1998

Book Condition:Good

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


The striking mobile sculptures of Alexander Calder are among the most notable and original creations of twentieth-century art. Combining for the first time movement and sculpture, these works represent a new and highly influential departure from the practices of the past. Yet Calder's work ranges much more widely. This lavishly illustrated book reflects the full diversity of Calder's oeuvre and explores an outstanding selection of more than two hundred of his works.Based on access to family archives, an overview of Calder's entire career, and contributions from the artist's grandson Alexander S. C. Rower, this book for the first time presents the artist in a serious light and proper historical context.Without ignoring the playful and whimsical dimension of his work, the book emphasizes Calder's role as one of the great formal innovators of the century. Each work of art selected from those produced during his prolific career is reproduced here in color and is accompanied by comparative works, informative essays, and extensive chronology.This book is the catalogue of a major centenary exhibit that opens at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., on March 29, 1998 and then travels to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


The early work of any artist is often startling, and Alexander Calder's is particularly so. We think of Calder's sculpture as the epitome of crisp, Modernist forms--sometimes moving gently, as the mobiles and stabiles do. And we think of his paintings as filled with abstracted, biomorphic shapes. But the 1998 Calder retrospective showed that this American in Paris between the world wars began as a specialist in smoky nocturnes. This book, the catalog of that exhibition, carries Calder past all that, to 1930, when he was "shocked" into complete abstraction, as he said, by a visit to the studio of Piet Mondrian. The rest of the book details the development of an oeuvre, including bent-wire toys, carnival figures, and circus acrobats, that made Calder among the best-loved of 20th-century artists. It contains pictures of Calder and his beautiful wife Luisa, at home and in the studio in Connecticut and France, and 267 full-color plates of Calder's drawings, sculptures, and paintings. The chronology is interspersed with the chapter essays, which can be somewhat confusing, at first, for readers who like to jump to the back of the book looking for the time line. It is well worth it to slow down for Marla Prather's readable, instructive text, which is filled with quotes from Calder and his contemporaries, and for Alexander S.C. Rower's remarkable chronology, which includes even the Calders' 1972 New York Times advertisement calling for the impeachment of Richard M. Nixon. With great economy, Rower covers every event of importance, in Calder's art and in his life. --Peggy Moorman

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