CALDER Alexander

Alexander CALDER

USA (1898-1976)

Alexander Calder is born in 1898 in Pennsylvania. He first made a name for himself as a sculptor and then as a painter, but later in life he discovered an enthusiasm for tapestry, after meeting Pierre Baudouin in 1961. It was Baudouin who originally transcribed the first of this artist’s designs, and oversaw their weaving, first of all at the Picard workshop and then at the Gobelins (« Composition »  in 1964-1965), of which he had become the artistic consultant in accordance with Malraux’s desire to see contemporary artists of note collaborate with the Manufactures Nationales. Numerous tapestries of this particular artist would from this point on to the end of his life be woven, most notably at the Pinton workshop. “His compositions in very bright colors of large motifs laid against a plain background are reminiscent of the airiness of his mobiles’’ (M. Jarry, Tapestry, art du XXe siècle, 1974). Of the tens of cartoons by Calder which were woven in Aubusson. We can recognize the abstract motifs and primary colors typical of the artist’s work, here associated with black (the spirals and “pebbles”), white and a rather more unusual pearl-grey which opens up an ample open space . One can also see here an echo of the standing vertical mobiles also created by the artist with their balancing spiral pendulum.