Calder Influence

Bright colorful objects dance and spin through the air
as a breeze sneaks in through the open window
A mobile hanging from the ceiling.

Did you know that mobiles were invented by the well-known American artist, Alexander Calder? His simple shapes were suspended from wires allowing them to move freely when pushed by air or touch. Calder is best known for his mobiles and stabiles, his stationary sculptures.

Rouge Triomphant by Alexander Calder


La Grand Vitesse by Alexander Calder

But Calder also worked with other media as well. He made wire jewelry, created different kinds of original prints, did drawings and paintings. His palette of color was consistent throughout all these media. The primary colors of yellow, red and blue, along with orange and black are predominant in many of his works.

I decided to borrow Calder’s palette for one of my Leaf Stack pieces, Leaf Stack #23.

Leaf Stack #23
37-3/4″ x 35-1/2″
©2017 Lisa Flowers Ross

The lines I have used in some of the previous Leaf Stack pieces are used here in black, a reference to the wire that Calder used in his mobiles. I also continued the black line around the edge of the piece, which is something different from previous works in the series.

Just like one of those colorful shapes in one of Calder’s mobile, I feel as those I am in the flow of a current gently pushing me in this direction, to continue to work on this series.

2 comments to Calder’s Influence

  • I like that you were inspired by Calder! Your quilting lines are interesting, yet they don’t distract from the design. Maybe that is because they are evenly spaced. Thanks for the reminder that Calder did all kinds of artwork. It makes me want to get out my book on Calder and remind myself of his work, which I love.

    • Lisa Flowers Ross

      Thanks, Gail. I used clear monofilament thread on the lines, so no color stands out against the fabric color.

      I think Calder is an amazing artist in all the different things he did.