Title of Artwork: “Spring “
Artwork by Alexander Calder
Year Created 1928
Summary of Spring
The New York Times hailed Alexander Calder’s unconventional sculptural materials, including copper wire and bureau drawer knobs, as “making their first appearance as mediums of artistic expression yesterday” in a review of his 1928 exhibition of Spring (Printemps) and other wire creations at the Society of Independent Artists.
Calder, the son and grandson of classical sculptors, claimed that he was “always excited about toys and string, and always a junkman of bits of wire and all the finest items in the garbage can” as a child and so turned away from modelling clay or “mud.”
All About Spring
At nearly seven feet in height, the allegorical Spring is both massive in scope and ambition. Details like the looped flower in her palm, the undulating strand of hair, and the artist’s smart signature dangling below her waist give her figure the impression of having been drawn in a single, fluid motion, like a spontaneous line drawing.
While on display at the Salon des Independents in Paris in 1929, spectators reportedly dragged her to the side, causing her to sway back and forth.
Her breasts were wood doorstops purchased at a five and ten cent store in New York. A friend of Calder’s housed the sculptures until his 1964–1965 retrospective at the Guggenheim.
Calder coiled Spring into a bale with another wire sculpture. When Calder freed Spring from her tangles, he said she “had all the freshness of youth—of my youth.” Spring was 35 at the time.
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