Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976) was an American sculptor known for innovative mobiles and precursor of the kinetic sculptures. He created drawings, engravings, miniatures, jewelry, hangings, carpets and political posters.
In 1931 he started a collection of kinetic sculptures with some mobile parts. This unique artwork was called “mobiles” by the Dadaism master Marcel Duchamp. Mobile means both motion and motive in French.
His first works were powered by motors. He decided afterwards to leave that idea behind and start working on creating sculptures that would only depend on wind-driven power to move.
Calder was fascinated by the natural shapes, quoting the National Gallery of Art “He usually cut natural forms that looked like leaves and petals rather than hardedge geometric shapes”, this would give the end result of his work looks that resemble leaves and petals.
“When Calder's mobiles move with the breeze, they change shape and cast interesting shadows”, states the museum. “Some even "sing" as their movable parts rub against each other.” All of these features make Calder’s interest towards developing “mobiles” that resemble nature grow further.