Some of the technical (“behind the scenes”) aspects of designing, making and installing a large custom mobile.
Proposing a variety of designs to the client (see the full render designs).
Creating the 3d model of the space and the sculpture. Making adjustments to ensure that as the kinetic sculpture rotates and moves with the air currents, it will always remain out of reach from the various floors.
Establishing the engineering data.
Preparing the file containing the shapes (Calder style/inspired with this specific design chosen by the client) for laser cutting.
Custom made knurled pins pressure fitted with a 10-ton press.
Confirming that all the balance points have been calculated correctly, in other words, reality needs to confirm theory (with the help of a crane).
Keeping it safe from vertical shocks caused by bumps and potholes as it’s transported (in this case) 500 miles / 800 km across the Appalachian Mountains.
Planning the layout of the mobile parts on the installation lift, so the overall 33 foot sculpture can be raised through the 22 by 15 foot opening in the atrium from the ground floor to the upper floors.
See more of my large custom mobile projects.
A group of nine works by Alexander Calder will be sold at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York on May 10th 2016. All of them were made by Calder in 1955 while visiting India for three weeks. This is the first time this group of Calder sculptures is coming to auction. Among the works to be auctioned:
Related: Watch a 360-degree view of Calder’s large red mobile Sumac created in 1961.
How the visit to India came about, in Calder’s own words: “In 1954, I received a letter from a young Indian woman, Gira Sarabhai, youngest of eight children of a large wealthy family in Ahmedabad, which is somewhere halfway between Bombay and Delhi. She offered Louisa and me a trip to India, if I’d consent to make some objects for her when there. I immediately replied yes.”
Calder in India in 1955 (Louisa Calder, his wife, is seated atop the elephant):
Estimates range as high as US$10 million, with a total pre-sale estimate of around US$26 million to US$38 million.
.125 by Alexander Calder
In collaboration with SOM
At the International Arrival Building at JFK Airport
- White Cascade (1976) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia – 100 feet / 30 meters
- Untitled (1977) at the National Gallery of Art – 76 feet / 23 meters
- Eléments Démontables (1975) at Bank IV in Wichita, Kansas – 47 feet / 14.5 meters
- .125 (1957) at JFK Airport New York City – 45 feet /13.5 meters
- Mountains and Clouds (1986) at the Hart Senate Office Building – 42.5 feet / 13 meters
My largest mobile to date measures 33ft (10m).
The largest Alexander Calder exhibition titled Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture opens at Tate Modern (London) tomorrow with over 100 works, and runs from Nov 11 2015 until Apr 3 2016. The Guardian writes: “The exhibition is both a reminder of how good he could be, and a revelation of how complex and far-reaching his influence still is.”
The exhibition includes Black Widow (1948) on loan outside of Brazil for the first time:
Video of the exhibition by Vernissage TV:
Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture Reviews:
- Largest Alexander Calder exhibition opens at Tate
- Rotation, rotation, rotation! Alexander Calder and his high-wire circus act
- Alexander Calder, Tate Modern, review: ‘has the wow factor’
- Performing Sculpture: Alexander Calder
- Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture review – the master of perpetual motion
- Alexander Calder: Discovering a joyous reading of the experimental artist’s work at Tate Modern
- Alexander Calder: As his mobiles fill up Tate Modern
- Magnificent mobiles: the art of Alexander Calder
- Calder’s Performance Art at the Tate Modern
- Alexander Calder Comes to Life at London’s Tate Modern
- Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture review
- Alexander Calder: the man who made abstract art fly
- Hanging by a thread: Alexander Calder at the Tate Modern
- Review of Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture at Tate Modern London
- Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture, Tate Modern
– Read more of my blog about mobiles –