Alexander Calder
American, 1898-1976

Mobile, 1934
Sheet aluminum, ceramic, wood, string and steel wire
Gift of Agnes Rindge Claflin
Period: 20th c
Classification: Sculpture
Dimensions: Sight: 35 7/8 x 31 3/8 x 31 3/8 in. (91.12 x 79.69 x 79.69 cm)
Exhibition History v
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, "Alexander Calder 1898-1976", March 29 - July 12, 1998, San Francisco Museum of Art, September 5 - December 1, 1998; Poughkeepsie, NY, FLLAC, Vassar College, "An Exhibition in Memory of Agnes Rindge Claflin 1900-1977," April 30 - June 4, 1978.
Description v
In 1931, Alexander Calder introduced a new sculptural art form—the mobile — and thus embarked on what would prove to be the most fertile decade of his career. This followed on the heels of a life-altering visit he paid to the Paris studio of Piet Mondrian in 1930, at which time he began to understand the nature of abstraction and his desire to work in this manner. Prior to this time his work had consisted largely of bent wire ‘drawings’ in a simple yet representative mode. The Circle is part of a small group of early mobiles on fixed bases that Calder produced in the mid-1930s. In January 1935 Calder wrote to ‘Chick’ Austin, director of the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, offering him The Circle, which was then housed in the studio of Calder’s father, for an upcoming exhibition. In this letter he gave very detailed instructions on its installation. The sculpture was exhibited at Vassar in the spring of 1936 and bought by Vassar art professor Agnes Rindge at that time.
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