Tate Modern Exhibition

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture

American sculptor Alexander Calder was a radical figure who pioneered kinetic sculpture, bringing movement to static objects

Alexander Calder, ‘Antennae with Red and Blue Dots’ c.1953
Alexander Calder
Antennae with Red and Blue Dots c.1953
© ARS, NY and DACS, London 2018

Alexander Calder Red and Yellow Vane 1934

Alexander Calder 'Vertical Foliage' 1941

Alexander Calder in his Roxbury studio, 1941

Alexander Calder, Hi c 1928

Alexander Calder Goldfish Bowl 1929

Calder travelled to Paris in the 1920s, having originally trained as an engineer, and by 1931 he had invented the mobile, a term coined by Duchamp to describe Calder’s sculptures which moved of their own accord.

Alexander Calder Antennae with Red and Blue Dots c1953 Tate © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS London

His dynamic works brought to life the avant-garde’s fascination with movement, and brought sculpture into the fourth dimension.

Continuing Tate Modern’s acclaimed reassessments of key figures in modernism, Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture will reveal how motion, performance and theatricality underpinned his practice. It will bring together major works from museums around the world, as well as showcasing his collaborative projects in the fields of film, theatre, music and dance.

A surprise and a delight
The Guardian

Exhilarating novelty
The Daily Telegraph

The Times

[Calder] … forced the public to rethink what sculpture was
Evening Standard *****

Calder’s aerial sculptures are unquestionably beautiful: delicately balanced arrangements of forms like fluttering leaves, subatomic particles or celestial bodies, suspended from the lightest possible cat’s cradle of wire
The Spectator

His fusion of sculpture with performance art was ahead of its time
Mail Online

Britain’s 'happiest exhibition'
Financial Times

Watch a short film on Calder

Calder’s work created a sensation in the 1930s, he took sculpture and liberated it, and set it in motion.
Dara Ó Briain 

In this short film, comedian and Theoretical Physics graduate Dara Ó Briain talks about his love of the cosmos and its connection with Alexander Calder’s mobiles.


Tate Modern

London SE1 9TG
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11 November 2015 – 3 April 2016

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