The Watusi, Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder
The Watusi
Back to top
  • The Watusi, Alexander Calder
  • The Watusi, Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder

The Watusi, 1950

247 x 325 x 100 cm
Physical Description
Iron and wire, coloured
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1960, property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
Not on display


About the Work

Alexander Calder paints abstract pictures in the air. Freed from gravity, thin discs balance in the space as if by magic. A light breath of air and the mobile begins its shaky dance. Calder saw himself as a choreographer, yet could not control the multifaceted dynamics of his works. The performative objects brilliantly integrate both movement and time into his art. In addition to old models of our solar system and mechanical toys, an important source of his inspiration was a visit to the Paris studio of Piet Mondrian in 1930. From this point onwards the American artist built "mobiles", a term Marcel Duchamp coined the following year when he saw these ethereal apparitions. While Calder initially used found pieces of glass and wood in the spirit of Dadaism and Surrealism, he constructed ever larger kinetic sculptures and fitted them with geometric elements. The asymmetric constructions seduce the viewer with their playful lightness, and incessantly leave invisible, poetic traces in space.


  • Basic information
  • Focus on art history
  • Focus on material

Work Data

Work Content

Research and Discussion

Similar works

  • All

More to discover


Do you have any suggestions, questions or information about this work?

Last update