For three weeks following this visit, he created solely abstract paintings, only to discover that he did indeed prefer sculpture to painting. Soon after, he was invited to join Abstraction-Création, an influential group of artists (including Jean Arp, Mondrian, and Jean Hélion) with whom he had become friendly.
In the fall of 1931, a significant turning point in Calder's artistic career occurred when he created his first truly kinetic sculpture and gave form to an entirely new type of art.
The first of these objects moved by systems of cranks and motors, and were dubbed "mobiles" by Marcel Duchamp—in French mobile refers to both "motion" and "motive." Calder soon abandoned the mechanical aspects of these works when he realized he could fashion mobiles that would undulate on their own with the air's currents. Portfolio of lithographs by Calder, Chillida, Guinovart, Miró, Ràfols-Casamada, Tàpies, Vedova, Viladecans.
Alexander Calder was born in 1898, the second child of artist parents—his father was a sculptor and his mother a painter.
Because his father, Alexander Stirling Calder, received public commissions, the family traversed the country throughout Calder's childhood.
The experience made a lasting impression on Calder: he would refer to it throughout his life.
Calder committed to becoming an artist shortly thereafter, and in 1923 he moved to New York and enrolled at the Art Students League.He met Louisa James (a grandniece of writer Henry James) on one of these steamer journeys and the two were married in January 1931.He also became friendly with many prominent artists and intellectuals of the early twentieth century at this time, including Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, James Johnson Sweeney, and Marcel Duchamp.Every piece was small enough to be packed into a large trunk, enabling the artist to carry it with him and hold performances anywhere.Its first performance was held in Paris for an audience of friends and peers, and soon Calder was presenting the circus in both Paris and New York to much success.Calder worked for several years after graduation at various jobs, including as a hydraulics and automotive engineer, timekeeper in a logging camp, and fireman in a ship's boiler room.