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Alexander Calder – Les Années Parisiennes, 1926-1933

(Alexander Calder – the Parisian Years, 1926-1933)

Exhibition catalogue
Directed by Brigitte Leal and Joan Simon

Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was born in the United States. After his career took off in Paris in 1926, he became one of the most significant figures of twentieth century sculpture.

Between 1926 and 1931, he created a totally original miniature circus, composed of figurines made from salvaged materials and animated by rudimentary mechanisms. With these he performed musical shows for the Parisian avant-garde. His humorous and fantastical characters made of wire, representing artists or stars such as Joséphine Baker, transformed static sculpture into ‘drawings in space’.

Calder’s Circus was resolutely innovative and original. It heralded the famous Mobiles (the term was coined by Marcel Duchamp), composed of constructions animated by cranks or motors.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition shows the richness and variety of his sculptures. It also portrays his lesser-known works such as press drawings, toys, jewellery, unpublished photographs and films. Together they extend our knowledge of an art that is playful and technological, exuberant and poetic.

Éditions du Centre Georges Pompidou
Mars 2009
220 mm x 280 mm x 41 mm
420 pages
ISBN: 9782844263544