Very special to Calder, these “pocket mobiles” were made exclusively for his close friends such as artists Saul Steinberg, Fernand Leger and Joan Miró, as well as neighbors, family members and even strangers. Miró affectionately nicknamed Alexander Calder “Sandy” during their five-decade long friendship, during which they inspired each other and shared a similar tender and playful vision of color, shape, and space. Their mutual passion for poetic expression and desire to explore new realms of the unseen imagination strengthened the bonds of their friendship as well as the expressive quality of their respective oeuvres. At a show of Calder’s new work in 1936 at the Pierre Matisse Gallery, the headline of the review in the New York World Telegram declared emphatically: “Calder’s Mobiles are Like Living Miró Abstractions.”
In 1945, Marcel Duchamp had the idea of exhibiting these whimsical little objects at the Galerie Louis Carré in Paris, exposing the American artist to an international audience. In the exhibition catalogue, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that Calder’s mobiles are neither sculptures, which suggest movement, nor paintings, which suggest light--instead they “truly capture movements in the air and embody them. They owe their lives to the life of the atmosphere. They simply are, they are absolutes.” (Jean-Paul Sartre in Exh. Cat., Paris, Calder: Mobiles, Stabiles, Constellations,1946, pp. 11 and 15)
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