Thursday, November 6, 2008


I got a book about Alexander Calder when I was in middle school. Delving into the book gave me my first glimmer of what it might be like to actually be an artist. The book pictured his Connecticut farmhouse and studio. Art was everywhere and, from then on, that was the image I held of how I wanted to live when I grew up.
One of the things that charmed me the most about him was how, in addition to great art, he made things for daily use around the house. He made jewelry for his wife from copper pieces and wire (how romantic!); knives, forks and spoons for the table from bits of metal scraps. It was as though his life and work were all of a piece, art and life weren't separated into compartments, creativity flowed through everything he did.Louisa Calder's dressing table
I was entranced with his childhood; his parents were both artists and he always had a studio space for himself in the various homes where they lived. I was envious of of his adult life too; he lived in Paris and was friends with Miro, Arp, and Marcel Duchamp. He worked with Martha Graham. The woman he later married was related to Henry James and philosopher William James. I vaguely remember that Calder had a dust-up with the actor, Burgess Meredith, about a film project and money shenanigans. It was all so exotic and fascinating.Furthermore, I loved (and love) his work.
The wire sculptures.The circus.

The mobiles. The stabiles.
All of it!


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