April 25, 2011

Calder mobile

“I paint with shapes”

Alexander Calder

Berlin, Germany, Têtes et Queue (1965), Calder
Têtes et Queue (1965), Berlin, Germany,

One of America’s famous sculpters was Alexander Calder. His work with metal and wire was to change the face of modern sculpture. Inspired by the movements of the solar system, Calder was inspired to create the ‘mobile’, sculpture that moves with air currents. His work was not limited to kinetic art, but also developed into huge abstract  static ‘ stabiles ‘. As a major contribution to the development of abstract art, Calder’s stabiles and mobiles challenged the prevailing notion of sculpture as a composition of masses and volumes by proposing a new definition based on the ideas of open space and transparency.”  (National Gallery of Art)

Students use the inspiraton of Calder to create sculptures from metal and wire. By the process of bending, twisting, and hammering; form, shape, and volume are transformed into artistic insect creatures.

Students working with metal to create sculptures

Student’s dragonfly sculpture

Student’s copper and aluminum bug sculpture

Outstanding K-12 Art Teacher Award in Sculpture –  Ken Vieth
Lesson Plans  – Context of the Lesson:
This idea was developed with the idea that recycled materials combined with  creativity and strong craftsmanship can produce well designed esthetically       pleasing sculptures. This was presented to students on the Art 2, 3, and  4 levels (10th, 11th, and 12th grades).



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