Alexander Calder is one of the most beloved and widely admired artists of the twentieth century. Anybody who has ever set foot in a museum knows him as the inventor of the mobile, America’s unique contribution to modern art. But only now, forty years after the artist’s death, is the full story of his life being told in this biography, which is based on unprecedented access to Calder’s letters and papers as well as scores of interviews. Jed Perl shows us why Calder was–and remains–a barrier breaker, an avant-garde artist with mass appeal.
Born in 1898 into a family of artists–his father was a well-known sculptor, his mother a painter and a pioneering feminist–Calder went on as an adult to forge important friendships with a who’s who of twentieth-century artists, including Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Georges Braque, and Piet Mondrian. We move through Calder’s early years studying engineering to his first artistic triumphs in Paris in the late 1920s, and to his emergence as a leader in the international abstract avant-garde.
Jed Perl is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books. He was the art critic for The New Republic for twenty years and a contributing editor to Vogue for a decade, and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in New York City.
Description courtesy of Knopf.