Alexander Calder‘s sculptures are distinct and quite easy to spot with his signature Calder Red and massive steel arches. His Four Arches sculpture in Los Angeles is the third Calder sculpture I’ve photographed. Late last year I was lucky enough to come across his Stabile Rouge in Paris’s La Defense and, of course, Chicago’s Flamingo in Federal Plaza is a favorite subject of mine. I also photographed his Horizontal sculpture in Paris’s Centre Pompidou last summer. While it’s not his Calder Red, his work is easily recognizable and in his other typical color palette of black, red, blue and white.
I find his artistic evolution quite fascinating. He studied mechanical engineering and began by making toys, which were actually produced in an Oshkosh, Wisconsin factory, the Gould Manufacturing Company. Interesting to me since I grew up about 20 miles from Oshkosh and went to college there. He’s also known as the originator of the mobile…in my high school physics class we had to make our own mobile’s, what a disaster that was! Clearly not my calling so I’ll stick to photographing his engineering feats. Moving from interior installations he began working on larger outdoor installations. He has sculptures all over the world with a few right here in Chicago. I’d definitely recommend reading more about him since I’m just skimming some interesting facts here…fascinating career.
Here I have a few images from his Four Arches sculpture in downtown Los Angeles. Surprisingly I prefer the images in color and with people in them to give the massive size of this piece some scale.