DETAIL : COLOGNE SCHOOL Germany Virgin and Child with Saints [Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel) Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel)]
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Alexander CALDER | Night and day
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Alexander CALDER
United States of America 1898-07-22 – 1976-11-11
also worked in France
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Night and day 1964
painted steel
73.5 (h) x 330.0 (w) x 330.0 (d) cm
not signed, not dated
Purchased 1978
NGA 1978.1230
© Alexander Calder. Licensed by ADAGP & VISCOPY, Australia
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Alexander Calder was born in Lawton, Pennsylvania, on 22 July 1898. He initially trained as a mechanical engineer, receiving his degree from the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1919, before undertaking classes at the Arts Students League, New York, from 1923 to 1926. In 1926 he travelled to Europe, settling in Paris, where performances of his wire and wooden miniature circus figures earned him an enthusiastic following. He returned to the United States in 1927 and showed his work at the Weyhe Gallery, New York, in 1928, his first solo exhibition. In the following years he moved regularly between New York and Paris, showing work in both centres and becoming friendly with many European artists, including Joan Miró, Fernand Léger and Piet Mondrian. By 1931 he was a member of the Paris-based Abstraction-Création group and in that year exhibited his first abstract works at Galerie Percier, Paris. He exhibited his first mobiles in 1932 at Galerie Vignon, Paris, and Julian Levy Gallery, New York. In 1933 he re-established himself in the United States, settling in Roxbury, Connecticut. A retrospective of his work was held at the Walter Vincent Smith Art Gallery, Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1938 and in 1952 he was awarded first prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale. In 1953 he established a studio in the small town of Saché, near Tours, France. A number of retrospective exhibitions were mounted towards the end of Calder's life: at the Tate Gallery, London, in 1962; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1964; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, in 1974; and at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in1976. Calder died in New York on 11 November 1976.

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