American artist Alexander Calder was born in 1898 in Lawnton, Pennsylvania into a family of artists. He received an engineering degree in 1919 from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken and went on to attend the Art Students League in New York from 1923- 1926 where he studied briefly with Thomas Hart Benton and John Sloan.
In 1925, he worked as a freelance artist for the National Police Gazette where he spent two weeks sketching at the circus. The following year, he went to Paris and attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. In 1928 a show featuring his caricature portraits and wire animals took place at the Weyhe Gallery in New York. He met Frederick Kiesler, Theo van Doesburg and Fernand Léger and visited Piet Mondrian’s studio in 1930.
Calder was the inventor of the mobile, which he first created as moving sculptures. He exhibited in 1933 with the Abstraction-Création group in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York gave him a solo exhibition four years later. During the late 1950s the artist worked extensively with gouache.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York presented a Calder retrospective in 1964-1965. Although most well known for his mobiles, he also created numerous lithographs and gouaches and made designs for tapestries and rugs.