Alexander Calder was always fond of the animal kingdom; from childhood through his last years he continued to draw and paint and carve all kinds of animals, cut them out of metal, and twist them out of wire. There are multitudes of wonderful Calder animals to be seen in public and private collections, from insects to elephants, plus some unique Calder mutations that have been described as "Watchama- and stabiles-were inspired by animal forms. Although Calder began his art career as an academically Calders." Many of the abstract works of art for which he became internationally famous-the mobiles trained painter and draftsman, the ordinary, familiar world of animals was almost immediately transformed by his unique artistic personality into brilliantly original line, form, and color.
For this book, illustrated with seventy color plates, we have chosen favorite examples of Calder creatures, and from the number of splendid works that could be found and photographed, it is apparent which animals he was most delighted with and most enjoyed playing with to transform into all kinds of works of art. Lions, elephants, horses, cows, seals, and spiders-from the most massive to the most delicate of creatures - proliferated in Calder's hands
JEAN LIPMAN, an authority on American folk art and contemporary sculpture, was editor of Art in America for thirty years, then editor of publications at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She and her husband, Howard Lipman, were longtime friends of Calder and his family, and they have collected his work for many years. Mrs. Lipman is the author of seventeen books, including Calder's Universe, Calder's Circus, and Alexander Calder and His Magical Mobiles. Since 1957, Mrs. Lipman-inspired by Calder sculptures and drawings-has also created many paintings and collages, which in recent years have been exhibited in six one-person shows.
MARGI CONRADS was formerly the Research Curator at The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York. She is now working on her doctorate in art history at the City University of New York Graduate Center.
NOTE ON COVER ILLUSTRATIONS
Front cover: Big Bug, 1970, gouache on paper. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; promised gift of Howard and Jean Lipman. Back cover: Rat, 1952, painted sheet metal. Private collection.
Cover design by Nancy Etheredge