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National Obituary Review

Dead Person Of The Day November 11 – Alexander Calder

No Comments 11 November 2011

He invented the mobile people! Not to mention he was one hell of an American artist. Enjoy….

Alexander Calder (July 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976)

During his lifetime, he was heralded on both sides of the Atlantic. In Paris, he was friendly with, and exhibited with, the opposing camps of the Dada/Surrealists and the Abstraction-Creation Group. In New York, he was championed from the early 1930’s by the Museum of Modern Art, one of three Americans to be included in Alfred H. Barr Jr.’s 1936 exhibition ”Cubism and Abstract Art.” The first of his many retrospectives was held there in 1943.

But by the time Calder died in 1976, at the age of 78, his early radicalism could seem obscure. He had become, not unlike Henry Moore, known primarily as part of the establishment, a maker of high-brow, high-profile, sometimes bland public commissions, the best of which is probably ”La Grande Vitesse,” the monumental red stabile that has become the civic logo of Grand Rapids, Mich. Somewhat zanier were the bright patchwork designs he created for three Braniff airplanes in the early 1970’s. And the mobiles that he had perfected were being generalized by offspring beyond count, from svelte lamps and infant’s crib toys to hippie wind chimes. Continue

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