Why doesn’t this Calder move?
In the mid-1930s, after perfecting his delicate “mobiles,” sculptor Alexander Calder began experimenting with larger sculptures that would stand outdoors. He wondered what to call these new, sturdy sculptures that stood still. The answer came, almost as a joke, from his friend, Surrealist artist Jean Arp. The opposite of “mobile?”—”stabile.” The name stuck.
The stabiles tended to be bigger, bolder forms, more geometric and very organic. often echoing animals. There’re often birds that are evoked by these pieces. I think that his interest in the zoo and the circus come across in these pieces.
There was just an incredible sense of delight, of a kind of creative spark to Calder’s work, a sense of delight and pleasure and playfulness in the work.
To create these works, Calder cut out shapes sheets of steel. He made no attempt to disguise how he held them together. Every nut and bolt is visible.
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