Alexander Calder
Intermediate maquette for Trois disques (Three Discs), 1967

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Intermediate maquette for Trois disques (Three Discs)
Artist name
Alexander Calder
Date created
metal and paint
156 1/2 in. × 199 in. × 128 in. (397.51 cm × 505.46 cm × 325.12 cm)
The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
© Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Permanent URL
Artwork status
On view on floor 3 as part of 3rd Floor Sculpture Terrace Installation

Audio Stories

Why doesn’t this Calder move?

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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. Therere 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 Calders 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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