Alexander Calder

United States, b.1898, d.1976

Untitled

  • Presented by the Embassy of the United States of America, April 1976
  • Lithograph
  • 670 x 482mm
  • 76/61
  • c. 1972

Calder’s abstract lithograph is more concerned with the dynamic relationships between shapes and colours than with symbolic meanings. The elements he was exploring in his brightly coloured sculptures were naturally extended to his work in lithography. Calder used masking and stencils to create these sharp, hard-edged markings and solid unbroken blocks of colour. The work was presented to the Gallery to commemorate the American bicentenary in the same year that Calder died. Calder was born in Pennsylvania. His father and grandfather had both been successful sculptors and his mother was a painter so he was encouraged to create from a very young age. He completed a degree in mechanical engineering in 1919, but soon after decided to pursue a career as an artist. In 1926 Calder arrived in Paris. He practised most of the major forms of printmaking but it is as a highly innovative sculptor that he is best known.