Tate Modern Exhibition

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture

Alexander Calder

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

Alexander Calder Red and Yellow Vane 1934

Alexander Calder Red and Yellow Vane 1934

Alexander Calder, ‘Antennae with Red and Blue Dots’ c.1953
Alexander Calder
Antennae with Red and Blue Dots c.1953
© 2021 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London 
Alexander Calder 'Vertical Foliage' 1941

Alexander Calder Vertical Foliage 1941

Alexander Calder in his Roxbury studio, 1941

Alexander Calder in his Roxbury studio, 1941

Alexander Calder, Hi c 1928

Alexander Calder Hi c 1928

Alexander Calder Goldfish Bowl 1929

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.

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

Supported by

With additional support from

The Performing Sculpture Supporters Circle

Lydia and Manfred Gorvy
Tate International Council and Tate Patrons

In partnership with

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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 …