Alexander Calder: THe Biggest Kid of Them All Descriptive Essay by Chrys

This paper describes the life and influences of the 1920s abstract sculptor, Alexander Calder.
# 145862 | 2,149 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Nov 30, 2010 in Art (Artists) , Art (History) , Art (Sculpture)

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In this article, the writer first explains that Alexander Calder was the inventor of the mobile and stabile, two forms of abstract kinetic sculpture. The writer points out that he came from a famous family of artists and he was part of a group of highly influential artists of the early twentieth century. The writer discusses the life and work of Calder and maintains that he lived a life of creation, seemingly from the day he was born until the day he died. The writer concludes that Calder's inspired movable sculpture redefined the art of sculpture and established him in the Abstract art movement, essentially establishing him as the inventor of the concept of mobiles and stabiles forever.

Family of Artists
Early Life
Visits Paris
Makes "Mobiles"

From the Paper:

"Calder, like many artists of the twenties, really only hoped for a well-paying job. Hence, Calder supported himself for the few years that he was a pupil at the Art Students League by working as a freelance illustrator for the National Police Gazette, covering prizefights and the circus (Cozzolino). It was this job that pushed him into his life-long fascination with the circus, which was a driving force in the encouragement his creativity in the immature realm that ruled his personality. In 1926, Calder's first showcase paintings premiered at the Artist's Gallery in New York City (Flint). After this show, and more increasingly routine illustration jobs for the National Police Gazette, Calder needed a change, and need to quench his constant wanderlust.
"After leaving the League in 1926, Calder embarked on his first trip abroad to Paris. Once in Paris, Calder was bombarded by new experiences and new influences. For instance, as shown in the film American Masters: Alexander Calder, he generated his first wire sculpture, Josephine Baker, a portrait of the American songstress with whom he had become infatuated. He made this sculpture out of a continuous length of wire, effectively creating a line drawing suspended in space. Calder would eventually become known for his use of shape and form in space."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "Alexander Calder." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 25 February 2008.
  • Ayers, Andrew. "Calder, Alexander." Grove Art Online. 22 February 2008.
  • "Duchamp, Marcel." Grove Art Online. 22 February 2008. views/article.html?section=art.991360
  • Chilvers, Ian. "Calder, Alexander." A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Cozzolino, Robert. "Calder, Alexander." The Oxford Companion to United States History. Ed. Paul S. Boyer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Cite this Descriptive Essay:

APA Format

Alexander Calder: THe Biggest Kid of Them All (2010, November 30) Retrieved February 05, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Alexander Calder: THe Biggest Kid of Them All" 30 November 2010. Web. 05 February. 2023. <>