Biography

Alexander Calder (1898-1976) received a degree in mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey) prior to studying at the Art Students League in New York between 1923 and 1925. In 1926 Calder received his first solo exhibition of paintings. Shortly thereafter, he began working on a miniature circus comprised of wood and wire figures until its completion in 1931. That same year, Calder started to construct "mobiles"- abstract sculpture with moving parts. Calder's creative enterprises were cross-disciplinary and exceeded the traditional definitions of painting and sculpture; throughout the course of his career Calder developed sets for a variety of theatrical, musical, and dance performances, collaborated on films, illustrated books, produced wallpaper, fabrics, and costumes, created designs for racing cars and airplanes, and embraced humanitarian causes. Calder's enterprising outlook was in many ways connected to his enthusiasm for travel. Some highlights of Calders creative output included a commission for the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris World's Fair (1937); first prize in the Rohm and Haas Plexiglass Sculpture Competition for the World's Fair Hall of Industrial Science (1939); the Outstanding Citizen award by the City of Philadelphia (1955); separate commissions for the Brussels World's Fair, the UNESCO building in Paris and the Idlewild (now Kennedy) International Airport in New York (all 1958); first prize at the Carnegie International Exhibition (1958); the Gold Medal of the Architectural League of New York award (1960); election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York (1960); award of the American Institute of Architects' medal (1961); the Art in America annual award for Outstanding Contribution to American Art (1962); election to the American Academy of Art and Letters, New York (1964); title Chairman of Artists for SANE / Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (1965); conferral of Honorary Doctor of Art degree by Harvard University (1966); conferral of Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree by Stevens Institute of Technology (1969); the Gold Medal for Sculpture from the Academy of Arts and Letters, New York (1971); the Grand Prix National Des Arts et Lettres by the French Minister of Culture (1975); the U.N. Peace Medal award (1975); and the Bicentennial Artist award by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1976).

Press
Small Judd show provides just a taste of his ambition San Francisco ChronicleMay 16, 2006