Wednesday, September 27, 2017

In case you wondered …

… How Alexander Calder Became America's Most Beloved Sculptor | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

“So now, at thirty-two”—so Calder put it in the Autobiography—“I wanted to paint and work in the abstract.” His first attempts were paintings rather than sculptures—perhaps a bow to Mondrian. These paintings are spare and enigmatic. Most of them—there are fewer than two dozen—don’t bring to mind specific works by Mondrian, in which the black lines extending from edge to edge assert the rectangle of the painting as a powerful, free-standing planar reality. Calder was already thinking about abstract forms as they moved through a fluid three-dimensional space. Calder later observed, “It was Mondrian who made me abstract—but I tried to paint, and it was my love of making plastic things that turned me to constructions.”

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