Alexander Calder

1898 · United States

Artist biography

Alexander Calder was a creative artist, who was born in the United States. Alexander Calder was born in 1898. Artists Man Ray, Norman Rockwell, Harry Gottlieb, Dorothea Lange and Berenice Abbott are of the same generation and same country as Alexander Calder.

Alexander Calder in private collections

It is the collector Daniel Cardani, who is in possession of art by Alexander Calder at Artland. Daniel Cardani also has works by other artists including Hur Kyung-Ae, Marco Andrea Magni, and Won Sou-Yeol.

Historical Context of United States

The United States has been key in the development of modern and contemporary art in the twentieth century, particularly in the post war period, when the cultural importance of New York assumed primacy over Paris, formerly thought of as the most significant art hub globally.

Major art movements developed and cultivated in important ways throughout the United States include Abstract Expressionism in various forms, Pop Art, including its West and East Coast branches, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, Neo-Expressionism, Graffiti and Street Art, plus various post-modern iterations of these many types. In the modern and contemporary age, the United States has cultivated a powerful influence over the worldwide visual culture, due to the hegemony of its economic and political institutions. Key examples of world renowned U.S artists of the modern and contemporary era include Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

Further Biographical Context for Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder was born in 1898 and grew up during the 1900s and 1910s and was influenced by the artistic atmosphere of the time. The first decades of the twentieth century were characterised by lively developments in pictorial art. It was the era of post-Impressionism and of experimentation, including the first forays into Expressionism and Abstraction. Many different groups of artists or loosely affiliated communities of the avant-garde in different major cities around the world developed many modes of these significant innovations.

The first major Post-impressionism movement in the early years of the twentieth century is generally considered to be the Fauves, a group for whom intense, other-worldly colours and vibrant brushstrokes were a key component of painting, and who counted Henri Matisse among their numbers. In Paris during the same time, a young Pablo Picasso painted his famed Blue and Rose periods. By the end of the 1920s, along with Georges Braque, he had developed the first fracturing of illustrative reality with Analytical Cubism.

The horrors of the First World War produced significant developments in the psychological applications of art, including the absurdist stylings of Dadaism which sprung up in Paris, Berlin, Zurich and Hannover, and which brought recognition for artists like Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Hannah Höch and Kurt Schwitters. Many of these ideas would go on to flourish further in Surrealism - the first art movement to fully incorporate psychology, and in particular ideas about the unconscious which had been developed by Sigmund Freud and his disciple Carl Jung.

Meanwhile, Expressive painting found key supporters in various places around the world. In France, the Nabis were among the first at the very turn of the century, and the German groups Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter included such legendary figures as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky.

The first twenty years of the Twentieth Century can be seen to be among the most fertile, and are noted as the time in art history when modern and modernist ideas first took hold of cultural production. The new order and rationality, alongside mechanisation in modes of production, saw art’s parallel discipline of architecture develop at an astonishing rate in the work of designers such as Le Corbusier and Gerrit Rietveld. It was the era of the Bauhaus and the idea of a common discipline amongst all modes of creative arts. Most, if not all, of the key art movements we associate with modern and contemporary art can be seen to source many of their key founding principles in the astounding diversity of work produced during this period.

Alexander Calder

  • Artworks in Collections 1
  • Exhibitions 12

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