Tate Modern Exhibition

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture

Alexander Calder Performing Sculpture web banner

A radical American sculptor who pioneered kinetic sculpture, bringing movement to static objects

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.

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.

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
Plan your visit


11 November 2015 – 3 April 2016

With additional support from

The Performing Sculpture Supporters Circle

Lydia and Manfred Gorvy
Tate International Council and Tate Patrons

In partnership with

Times Newspapers Ltd

Times Newspapers Ltd


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

Evening Standard

A surprise and a delight

The Guardian

Exhilarating novelty

The Daily Telegraph


The Times

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

We recommend

Find out more

  • Art Term

    Kinetic art

    Kinetic art is art that depends on motion for its effects
  • Artist

    Alexander Calder

  • Art Term


    A mobile is a type of sculpture that is formed of delicate components which are suspended in the air and …