Calderoulette, 1941

Sunday 24th December, 2023 - Bruce Sterling

This is a very rare example of Alexander Calder making a figurative mobile rather than an abstract one. The viewer will note that this art work looks like a movable wire toy rather than a “mobile sculpture.”

Of course Calder was quite well-known for his animated wire toys before he succeeded in establishing any “mobile sculptures.” His good friend Marcel Duchamp had to drop by and helpfully NAME these creations “mobiles,” and then and only then, mobiles as distinct from wire toys could exist in the world.

Calder knew Duchamp quite well, which was why Calder often wisely referred to his artworks as “objects” and his atelier as a “workshop.”