Alexander Calder: Friendships with Leger and Miro

By on 19 Jan 2018

An artist’s friendship with another artist is often a sacred bond of admiration, influence, and inspiration. Despite the distances and visual mediums that may that separate them, each relationship leaves a lasting impact on the involved artists. One particular individual’s relationships with other artists has frequently been the topic of many exhibitions and books, and that is Alexander Calder.  Alexander “Sandy” Calder is the most acclaimed and influential sculptor of our time, and developed meaningful relationships with his fellow artists Fernand Léger and Joan Miró.

Calder was influenced by Léger, and Léger admired Calder’s work. Their paths crossed multiple times as Léger was often in the audience of Calder’s circus performances and Calder invited him to write the preface to his catalogue for the exhibition at Galerie Percier in 1931. The two artists had a close relationship and were often seen walking around New York or Paris together searching for visual inspiration. In their art, although they tended to resolve their depictions of the modern world in different manners, we can see the ideological thread between their work and similar integration of figuration and abstraction.

Calder and Miró lived in Paris at the same time and became close friends. Their artistic parallels have been well documented and exhibited. Both artists have an impish quality, a sense of play, and a love of adventure in their works. In describing the similarities in his work with that of Miró, Calder is quoted as saying, “Well, the archeologists will tell you there’s a little bit of Miró in Calder and little bit of Calder in Miró.” That could certainly be said of many artists relationships.

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