Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was a radical inventor: an artist who discarded convention and disrupted hierarchies, overturning the traditional basis of culture while revolutionising the way people perceive and interact with art. Calder's 'new line' was not simply an evolution of forms and styles. From the start, it was quite clear to all who witnessed him at work that - in his way of drawing attention and gaining notoriety - he was doing something radically new.
This catalogue shows how Calder's work emerged from expectations of change in American popular culture.
Calder, who was initially attracted by the structure and functions of the circus, looked for alternative models to triumph over respectability, public decorum, and the ambitions of industry. The catalogue, with twelve essays from major contributors, will examine how Calder, among the first college-trained artists, found techniques and inspiration in many disciplines and their development: technology, engineering, architecture, physics, and astronomy, among others. All these contributed to the development of his wire sculptures, mobiles, and stabiles. More than 100 works and comparative illustrations will guide the reader through this innovative and unique path.
250 colour images
About the Authors
Anne Grace is the curator of Radical Inventor: A Retrospective of Alexander Calder and Curator of Exhibitions and Education at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In her former role as Curator of Modern Art at the MMFA, she co-organised numerous exhibitions, most recently From Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Impressionism to Expressionism 1900-1914 (2014).
Elizabeth Hutton Turner is Professor of Modern Art at the University of Virginia, former Senior Curator of the Phillips Collection, and a renowned scholar of Calder's work. She was also a consultant for the Calder Museum Project in Philadelphia and project director, author, and editor for several exhibition catalogues of Calder's work.
W. Bernard Carlson is a professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society and in the History Department at the University of Virginia.
Linda Dalrymple Henderson is David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professor in Art History, Distinguished Teaching Professor, and Regents' Outstanding Teaching Professor, Department of Art and Art History, University of Texas at Austin.