Calder (2 volume set)

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Calder (2 volume set)

Calder (2 volume set)

£90.00 £40.00

Calder (2 volume set)

£90.00 £40.00

Jed Perl

Hardcover | 1356 pp | 2 volumes

Knopf | 2017 | 9780307272720 & 9780451494115

Volume I: The Conquest of Time - The Early Years (1898-1940) 

Volume II: The Conquest of Space - The Later Years (1940-1976) 

Over 350 illustrations, including little-known works and many archival photographs that have never before been seen.

PLEASE NOTE: This title has been remainder marked by the publisher - a  marker pen dot or line on one edge. See images for example.

The first biography of America's greatest twentieth-century sculptor, Alexander Calder: an authoritative and revelatory achievement, based on a wealth of letters and papers never before available.

Alexander Calder is one of the most beloved and widely admired artists of the twentieth century. Anybody who has ever set foot in a museum knows him as the inventor of the mobile, America's unique contribution to modern art. But only now, forty years after the artist's death, is the full story of his life being told in this biography, which is based on unprecedented access to Calder's letters and papers as well as scores of interviews. Jed Perl shows us why Calder was, and remains, a barrier breaker, an avant-garde artist with mass appeal.

This beautifully written, deeply researched book opens with Calder's wonderfully peripatetic upbringing in Philadelphia, California, and New York. Born in 1898 into a family of artists--his father was a well-known sculptor, his mother a painter and a pioneering feminist--Calder went on as an adult to forge important friendships with a who's who of twentieth-century artists, including Joan Miro, Marcel Duchamp, Georges Braque, and Piet Mondrian.

Calder's life takes on a transatlantic richness, from New York's Greenwich Village in the Roaring Twenties, to the Left Bank of Paris during the Depression, and then back to the United States, where the Calders bought a run-down old farmhouse in western Connecticut. New light is shed on Calder's lifelong interest in dance, theater, and performance, ranging from the Cirque Calder, the theatrical event that became his calling card in bohemian Paris to collaborations with the choreographer Martha Graham and the composer Virgil Thomson.

The second volume begins during World War II, when Calder and his wife, Louisa, opened their home to the stream of artists and writers in exile from Europe. In the postwar decades, they divided their time between the United States and France, as Calder made his first monumental public sculptures and received blockbuster commissions that included Expo '67 in Montreal and the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Jed Perl makes clear how Calder's radical sculptural imagination shaped the minimalist and kinetic art movements that emerged in the 1960s. And we see that through everything - their ever-expanding friendships with artists and writers of all stripes; working to end the war in Vietnam; hosting riotous dance parties at their Connecticut home; seeing the "mobile," Calder's essential artistic invention, find its way into Webster's dictionary - Calder and Louisa remained the risk-taking, singularly bohemian couple they had been since first meeting at the end of the Roaring Twenties.

The biography ends with Calder's death in 1976 at the age of seventy-eight - only weeks after an encyclopedic retrospective of his work opened at the Whitney Museum in New York - but leaves us with a new, clearer understanding of his legacy, both as an artist and a man.

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