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Alexander Calder


Made of small pieces of sheet metal that he cut and linked together, the format of Alexander Calder’s Sumac II revolutionized sculpture. Instead of placing the work on a pedestal or on the floor, Calder suspended his “mobiles” from the ceiling, where they could gently sway in response to moving air. For Calder, red was a compelling color. In a 1962 interview, he also famously said, “I love red so much that I almost want to paint everything red.”

Alexander Calder
Lawnton, PA 1898–New York, NY 1976
Sumac II
Sheet metal, wire, and paint, 1952
29 1/4 × 48 × 35 inches
Sheldon Museum of Art, Nebraska Art Association, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick S. Seacrest, N-529.1979; © 2020 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Sumac II recently returned to Sheldon from a tour to Montreal, Canada, and Melbourne, Australia, as part of the major Calder retrospective, Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor.