Dictionary of Art and Artists



 

 


History of

Architecture and Sculpture

 
 

 

 
 

 
 

CONTENTS:

 
 

PART ONE
THE ANCIENT WORLD
PREHISTORIC ART
EGYPTIAN ART

ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN ART
AEGEAN ART
GREEK ART
ETRUSCAN ART
ROMAN ART
EARLY CHRISTIAN AND BYZANTINE ART

PART TWO
THE MIDDLE AGES
EARLY MEDIEVAL ART
ROMANESQUE ART
GOTHIC ART

PART THREE
THE RENAISSANCE THROUGH THE ROCOCO
LATE GOTHIC
THE EARLY RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
THE HIGH RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
MANNERISM AND OTHER TRENDS
THE RENAISSANCE IN THE NORTH
THE BAROQUE IN ITALY AND SPAIN
THE BAROQUE IN FLANDERS AND HOLLAND
THE BAROQUE
THE ROCOCO

PART FOUR
THE MODERN WORLD
NEOCLASSICISM AND ROMANTICISM
REALISM AND IMPRESSIONISM
POST-IMPRESSIONISM, SYMBOLISM, AND ART NOUVEAU

PART FIVE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY
TWENTIETH-CENTURY SCULPTURE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY ARCHITECTURE


INDEX
FIGURES
 

 
 

 
 

CHAPTER TWO
 

TWENTIETH-CENTURY SCULPTURE
 

SCULPTURE BEFORE WORLD WAR I
SCULPTURE BETWEEN THE WARS - Part1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
SCULPTURE SINCE 1945 - Part1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
 
 


SCULPTURE

 


SCULPTURE BETWEEN THE WARS




Julio Gonzalez

Picasso also stimulated the astonishing sculptural imagination of Julio Gonzalez
(1872-1942). Trained as a wrought-iron craftsman in his native Catalonia, Gonzalez had gone to Paris in 1900. Although he was a friend of both Brancusi and Picasso, he produced little of consequence until the 1930s, when his creative energies suddenly came into focus after Picasso called him for technical advice in working with wrought iron. It was Gonzalez who established this medium as an important one for sculpture, taking advantage of the very difficulties that had discouraged its use before. Head (fig. 1139) combines extreme economy of form with an aggressive reinterpretation of anatomy that is derived from Picasso's work after the mid-1920s. As in the head of the figure on the left in Picasso's Three Dancers (see fig. 1064), the mouth is an oval cavity with spikelike teeth, the eyes two rods that converge upon an "optic nerve" linking them to the tangled mass of the "brain." Gonzalez has produced a gruesomely expressive metaphor, as if the violence of his working process mirrored the violence of modern life.
 


1139. Julio Gonzalez. Head. ñ. 1935.
Wrought iron. 45.1 x 38.7 cm.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

 

 


Julio Gonzalez

Julio González, (born 1876, Barcelona, Spain—died 1942, Arcueil, France), Spanish sculptor and painter who developed the expressive use of iron as a medium for modern sculpture.

González and his brother Joan received artistic training from their father, a sculptor and metalworker, as well as at the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona. González moved to Paris in 1900, where, through his old Barcelona friend Pablo Picasso, he became acquainted with the leaders of the Parisian avant-garde. He was a painter in his early career, supporting himself by making decorative metalwork and jewelry.

In 1927 González made his first sculptures in welded iron, the medium characteristically associated with his works. In the late 1920s Picasso sought his technical advice and assistance in the construction of welded sculptures. There is evidence of Picasso’s Cubist influence in González’s own works, which typically reduce the human figure to geometric shapes and lines. In his mature work he frequently used rods and sheets of metal to construct abstract female figures that often contain hollow volumes, such as Seated Woman (1935). He adopted a more naturalistic style for his best-known sculpture, Montserrat I (1936–37), a work inspired by the horrors and injustices of the Spanish Civil War.


Encyclopædia Britannica
 

 



Julio Gonzalez.
Monsieur Cactus (Cactus Man I)
1939





Julio Gonzalez.
Head called 'The Tunnel'
1933-4





Julio Gonzalez. Maternité
1934





Julio Gonzalez. Harlequin





Alexander Calder.


The early
1930s, which brought Giacometti and Gonzalez to the fore, produced still another important development: the mobile sculpture of the American
Alexander Calder
(1898-1976). Called mobiles for short, they are delicately balanced constructions of metal wire, hinged together and weighted so as to move with the slightest breath of air. They may be of any size, from tiny tabletop models to the huge Lobster Trap and Fish Tail (fig. 1140). Kinetic sculpture had been conceived by the Constructivists, and their influence is evident in Calder's earliest mobiles, which were motor-driven and tended toward abstract geometric configurations. Calder was also affected early on by Mondrian, but it was his contact with Surrealism that made him realize the poetic possibilities of "natural" rather than fully controlled movement. He borrowed biomorphic shapes from Miro and began to think of mobiles as analogues of organic structures: flowers on flexible stems, foliage quivering in the breeze, marine animals floating in the sea. Unpredictable and ever-changing, such mobiles incorporate the fourth dimension as an essential element of their structure. Infinitely responsive to their environment, they are more truly alive than any fabricated thing.



1140. Alexander Calder. Lobster Trap and Fish Tail. 1939.
Painted steel wire and sheet aluminum,
2.6 x 2.9
m.

The Museum of Modem Art, New York

 

 


Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder, in full Alexander Stirling Calder (born July 22, 1898, Lawnton, Pa., U.S.—died Nov. 11, 1976, New York, N.Y.), American sculptor best known as the originator of the mobile, a type of kinetic sculpture the delicately balanced or suspended components of which move in response to motor power or air currents; by contrast, Calder’s stationary sculptures are called stabiles. He also produced numerous wire figures, notably for a vast miniature circus.

Calder was the son and grandson of sculptors, and his mother was an accomplished painter. Despite growing up in an atmosphere of American academic art, he seems to have had little inclination to become an artist himself. Aside from an unusual amount of traveling and moving around, necessitated in part by his father’s health, Calder’s youth and interests were typical of middle-class American boys growing up in the early years of the century. His reminiscences—which are remarkable for their completeness—of his early activities have to do largely with family affairs, sports, and relations with his classmates. Perhaps the only indication of his subsequent career lay in his facility for making things and his enjoyment of gadgets.

After study at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, he graduated in 1919 with a degree in mechanical engineering. For a time he traveled widely and held various engineering jobs. In 1922 he took drawing lessons at a night school in New York City, and in 1923 he entered the Art Students League, where he was influenced by painters of the New York scene—the Ashcan school, of which John Sloan and George Luks were among the leading artists. At this point, Calder’s aspirations, like those of many American artists of the time, did not extend much beyond securing a well-paying job in illustration or commercial art. In 1924 he began doing illustrations for the National Police Gazette, for which he covered prizefights and the circus.

After several other routine commercial illustrating jobs, Calder decided in 1926 to go to Paris, the world centre for modern art. While working on sculpture there, he began for his own amusement to make toylike animals of wood and wire. Out of these he developed a miniature circus, performances of which were attended by many of the leading artists and literary figures in Paris. The little circus figures, as well as his interest in continuous line drawings, led Calder to the creation of wire sculptures, such as the figure of a woman 7 feet (2 metres) high, entitled Spring, and Romulus and Remus, a group that included a she-wolf 11 feet (3.4 metres) long.

Among the artists he met in Paris through his circus exhibitions, perhaps the most crucial for his subsequent career was the Spanish Surrealist painter Joan Miró. Although Surrealism was reaching its first major peak in the late 1920s, Calder does not seem to have been conscious of the movement; in fact, throughout his career he isolated himself from the “art world.” With Miró, however, he established an immediate rapport, and a lasting friendship was formed.

In 1930 Calder met the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian and visited his studio, an event that made him suddenly aware of the modern movement in painting and that influenced his work in the direction of the abstract. In the winter of 1931–32 he began to make motor-driven sculptures consisting of various geometric shapes. The name mobile was given to them by Marcel Duchamp. Aesthetically, movement, because of the changing relationships among the various elements, gave each of these sculptures a continually changing composition. The following year, when Calder exhibited similar works that did not move, Jean Arp described them as stabiles, a term that Calder continued to use. Beginning in 1932, most of his mobiles were given their movement by air currents.

In 1931, while fashioning a wedding ring for his marriage, Calder developed an interest in making jewelry. Also in 1931, he produced illustrations for an edition of the Fables of Aesop. Illustrations for a number of other books followed in the 1940s.

During the 1930s Calder further developed the concept of the mobile. The first major manifestation of his work was at the world’s fair in Paris in 1937, where he created his Mercury Fountain for the Spanish pavilion. In this sculpture, movement was introduced by a stream of mercury striking a plate that was attached to a swiveling rod. From this point, Calder’s reputation expanded continually through annual exhibitions in Europe and America, climaxed by a showing at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1943.

Although Calder’s early mobiles and stabiles were on a relatively small scale, he increasingly moved toward monumentality in his later works. One very large stabile organization was an acoustical ceiling, which he designed in 1952 for the auditorium of the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas. In 1961 an exhibition on motion in art, which originated at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, emphasized the work of Calder and his followers. During the 1960s his accomplishments were recognized through major exhibitions in Kassel, West Germany; at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City; and at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

In 1931 Calder married Louisa Cushing James, and after their marriage the Calders traveled continually, not only between France and the United States but also to South America and Asia. In 1955 and 1956 they visited India, where Calder created 11 mobiles.

In the 1970s Calder’s studio was at Saché, near Tours. There he designed his major stabiles and experimented with free-form drawings and paintings. His normal method with large-scale works was to create a small model the enlargement of which he supervised at a foundry in Tours. Although Calder lived most of the time in France, he maintained a home and studio in Roxbury, Connecticut.

H. Harvard Arnason

Encyclopædia Britannica
 

 

 


Alexander Calder. Mobile


 


Alexander Calder. Mercury Fountain
1937


 


Alexander Calder. Crinkly avec disc Rouge
1973


 


Alexander Calder. L'empennage
1953


 


Alexander Calder. Mobile


 


Alexander Calder. Constellation


 


Alexander Calder. Mobile


 


Alexander Calder. Untitled


 


Alexander Calder. Fish
1929


 


Alexander Calder. Pair of Gold Earrings
1948-1950


 


Alexander Calder. Black palette, red spike
1947


 

 
Alexander Calder. L' Elephant Noir
1973


 


Alexander Calder. Red Snail (Mobile)
1959


 


Alexander Calder. Untitled
1974


 


Alexander Calder. The White Arrow
1964


 


Alexander Calder. Otto's Mobile


 


Alexander Calder. The White Face
1969


 


Alexander Calder. Two Red Tulips
1975


 


Alexander Calder. Untitled
1966


 


Alexander Calder. White Dots on Red and Blue
1951


 


Alexander Calder. Untitled
1960


 


Alexander Calder. The Lion (Maquette)
1976


 


Alexander Calder. Red Horse


 


Alexander Calder. Flamingo


 


Alexander Calder. Oeuvre-de-Calder,  La Défense, Paris, France



 


Alexander Calder. The Crab
1962



 


Alexander Calder. La Grande Vitesse
1969


 


Alexander Calder. Flamingo
1974



 


Alexander Calder. Four Arches
1975


 


Alexander Calder. Grand Stabile Rouge
1974



 


Alexander Calder. Four Wings


 


Alexander Calder. Man

 
 

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