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Alexander Calder: Modern from the Start
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Alexander Calder: Modern from the Start

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Alexander Calder: Modern from the Start celebrates this extraordinarily fertile relationship between an institution and an artist who was both an important creative partner and, with his magnificent gift of 19 works in 1966, a major donor. Through MoMA, Calder came to be known as a pioneer of modern sculpture, and through Calder, MoMA came to understand itself as an American museum of modern art.

After studying engineering, Alexander Calder (1898–1976) moved to Paris in the late 1920s, where he found himself at the center of the city’s artistic avant-garde. There, he developed his Cirque Calder, a performance artwork comprising dozens of miniature handmade objects, and a group of standalone figurative works in wire. Turning toward abstraction in 1930, Calder invented the mobile―an abstract sculpture made of independent parts that incorporate natural or mechanical movement. He would continue to explore the possibilities of this visual language for the rest of his career, eventually shifting to monumental constructions and public works. 144 pages.