Shadow and Substance: The Art Film and Its Sources
Alexander Calder, known for the soaring abstract mobiles and stabiles of his mature career, was trained as a mechanical engineer. The son of painter Nanette Lederer and renowned sculptor Alexander Stirling Calder, he showed little interest in fine art until the 1920s when he began studying composition, painting, and drawing at the Art Students League in New York under such leading artists as John Sloan, George Luks, William Pène du Bois, and Boardman Robinson.
Calder’s early work included painting, wood carvings, andwire-sculptures—the latter which he called “drawings in space.” In 1926 he exhibited his first paintings in New York; the following year he moved to Paris with the hope to exhibit, sell, and gain critical attention. Two years later, in 1929, the exhibition, <i>Alexander Calder Sculpture in Wood and in Wire</i>, was mounted at the Galerie Neumann-Nierendorf in Berlin. It contained forty wire sculptures, one mask made of tin plate, and seven wood sculptures, including <i>Woman with Umbrella</i>, 1929. This sculpture was given to the Addison in 1951, where it joined Calder’s dynamic mobile <i>Horizontal Spines</i>, 1942, purchased by the museum in 1943.
Also in the Addison collection is Calder’s father’s plaster study, <i>Woman Cutting Toe Nails</i>, donated to the museum in 1953 by the artist’s mother, Mrs. A. Stirling Calder.
This object was included in the following exhibitions:Terms of Criticism, Addison Gallery of American Art, 00/00/00 - 5/10/1965
Alexander Calder: Skulpturen aus Holz und aus Draht, Galerie Neumann Nierendorf, 4/1/1929 - 4/15/1929
Three Dimensional Works of Art from the Addison Gallery Collection, Addison Gallery of American Art, 3/20/1953 - 5/11/1953
Exhibition of Paintings by Patrick Morgan, Lamont Art Gallery, 10/27/1953 - 11/15/1953
Shadow and Substance: The Art Film and Its Sources, Addison Gallery of American Art, 2/19/1954 - 3/14/1954
Scope in Collecting [25th Anniversary Exhibition], Addison Gallery of American Art, 10/19/1956 - 12/24/1956
The New Tradition: Modern Americans before 1940, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, 4/27/1963 - 6/2/1963
Terms of Criticism, Addison Gallery of American Art, 7/26/1963 - 12/23/1963
Terms of Criticism, Addison Gallery of American Art, 7/15/1966 - 10/3/1966
Terms of Criticism, Addison Gallery of American Art, 7/18/1969 - 10/19/1969
Sculpture in Context, Addison Gallery of American Art, 4/17/1999 - 7/31/1999
Figure/Space: Selected Works from the Addison, Addison Gallery of American Art, 9/3/2002 - 12/29/2002
Taking Shape: Sculpture at the Addison, Addison Gallery of American Art, 9/17/2016 - 3/19/2017
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