Monday, October 14, 2013

Modern Print Monday: Alexander Calder

Aubusson tapestry designed by 
Alexander Calder, 1960s

In 1962 Calder designed a group of tapestries to be woven in Aubusson, France, famous for its weaving workshops. They reflect his post World-War II interest in bright colors along with his life-long use of abstracted nature and wire-like forms.

Alexander Calder 1898-1976

Calder seems not to have designed repeat pattern although his ideas became popular figures in prints.

by Alexander Calder

Again we see a modernist influenced by textiles and in return changing the way textiles looked.

 Arc of Petals, 1941
Alexander Calder 

Calder went to Paris in the 1920s where he associated with the surrealists who gave the name Mobiles to his kinetic sculptural pieces crafted from wire and sheet metal. He abstracted nature into graceful, simple shapes that floated on the air.

Small Hours, 1953
Repeating Print By Lucienne Day

His imagery and wire sculpture, so new in the 1930s, were everyday imagery in the 1950s when, according to Lesley Jackson in Twentieth Century Pattern Design, critic James deHolden Stone complained that textile design was limited to three categories: "Modern, Mobiles and Spasms."

Three pieces of  barkcloth from the 1950s

A few abstract shapes and some wire-like lines:
classic midcentury modern.

Read a post on Lucienne Day here:

And more about Alexander Calder's later work here:


  1. Have you ever been to Kykuit, the Rockefeller home in Sleepy Hollow NY? They have amazing and huge tapestries of Picasso's works recreated, I believe, with approval of the artist.

  2. Mandalei--I looked them up. Here's a link.

    Picasso is on my list of designers to explore. I bet he did repeating fabric as well as tapestries.