Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wow, my favorite artist of the moment

I just checked out this newish book from the library about renowned artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976). It's called Calder Jewelry (Yale University Press c2007). He is probably best known for inventing the mobile. His sculpture, lithographs, and paintings are of course wonderful, but this book is jam-packed (and huge, maybe ten pounds) with pictures of his jewelry and jewelry-like sculpture that just make me want to cry with adoration. Every piece is unique and so ingeniously constructed. They range from powerfully simple to deceptively simple. They are mostly built with hammer flattened wire, some with odd bits of pottery, stones, wood, or glass. They are so playful and animated, and being primarily wire, they are all about the lines. But not sharp mechanical lines, more like a pencil sketch come to life. They seem to vibrate with levity.

Let me be clear, I am not a fancy-jewelry girl, but I am an abstract artist obsessed with lines. This man was a genius. A lot of the pieces were gifts to his wife (lucky lady!) I really need to get some metal to hammer on.

Well, anyway, this book is worth a trip to the library. It's probably pretty expensive so I'm going to try not to cry and drool all over my library's copy.

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