Red, White & Black: Alexander Calder & Three Up, Three Down

In Atlanta on January 7, 2014 at 11:57 PM

January 7, 2014

Here are a few photos and one motion picture of Alexander Calder’s living mobile “Three Up, Three Down” in front of The High Museum in Atlanta taken just after sunrise during one of the coldest days in American history.

For documentaries on Lord Calder, here and here are two of interest with one showcasing his musical side. As far as other sculptures, “Mountains and Clouds” might be his masterpiece in the catalogue. Red, white and black are his primary colors.

For me, his work justifies the merit in abstract art, i.e., the concept of enough. When Benjamin Franklin remarks on the difficulty in making out whether a painter is depicting a rising sun or a setting sun in a painting, Calder ends up avoiding any such confusion for his audience in his sculptures. He makes his intentions well-known with precision by leveraging motion to convey the end of his symbols as suspended in air. Arguably for this reason his “mobiles” discovery ends up making his work more natural than abstract as a result in the final takeaway, more “stabile” than mobile.

Like Archimedes, Calder’s sculptures evoke, “Give me a place to stand and I will move the world.” The audience now knows what direction things are heading in his works, but the question of what the things are still remains. One might argue, after having reviewed these thoughts, that Calder has done to sculpting what Vincent van Gogh has done for painting in this respects, but in an even more general manner.

“Three Up, Three Down” will be relocated away from Atlanta soon. Therefore, may his artwork continue to bend to multiple settings and multiple ages like Thelonious Monk’s “Blue Monk” on piano or Hesiod’s tripod on Mount Helicon.

“Let’s make love ‘til the end.” – Meut



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