The Surreal Calder

The Surreal Calder

Mark Rosenthal, with a chronology by Alexander S.C. Rower
10 1/4 × 12 1/4 inches
156 pages

Published 2005


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The artistic parentage of Alexander Calder (1898–1976) consists of Marcel Duchamp, who provided the name of and concept for the mobile; Piet Mondrian, who introduced him to pure abstraction; and Joán Miró, who communicated the central theses of Surrealism. Yet despite these early influences and the role Calder played during the formative years of the Surrealist movement, including being shown in the defining 1936 Exposition surréaliste d'objets in Paris, he has long been separated from those beginnings in the public consciousness. This publication examines his work in the context from which he emerged as an artist, exploring his linear flights of fancy, fantastical creatures, biomorphic forms, and his celestial-inspired constellations. Includes a detailed chronology of Calder’s Surrealist years and a selected bibliography.

About the Authors
Mark Rosenthal is a curator, author, and art historian and currently serves as adjunct curator for contemporary art at the Detroit Institute of the Arts. He was previously adjunct curator at the Menil Collection, where he curated Joseph Beuys: Actions, Vitrines, Environments (2004) and Jasper Johns: Drawings (2003). He was the principal author of both catalogues.

Alexander S.C. Rower is the president of the Calder Foundation and the artist’s grandson.