Step 1 - Introducing the Alexander Cal D/unit_2/track-d_unit...  ALEXANDER CALDER...

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Transcript of Step 1 - Introducing the Alexander Cal D/unit_2/track-d_unit...  ALEXANDER CALDER...


    Step 1 - Introducing the Alexander Calder Slideshow Guide MOTIVATION BEGIN READING HERE

    I want you to think of your bedroom. How did you leave your room? Did you straighten it up or did you leave it a mess? Did you make your bed, hang up your clothes, put your things away? Is your room neat, clean, and tidy or is your room messy? What if you were an artist? Would your art studio look like your bedroom does now? Would your studio be neat or messy? While youre thinking about that Im going to show you a photograph of the studio of our master artist today. His name is Alexander Calder. Do you think his studio will be neat or messy? Lets find out!

    Click Start Lesson To Begin

    1. PHOTO OF CALDERS STUDIO Does this remind you of your room? Calders studio always looked as though everything was piled up in a careless mess. But Sandy, as he was called, knew where each thing was, and would pick up just what he needed, even if it was buried under what looked like a mound of junk. As you can tell, he didnt like to throw away the bits of scrap left over from cutting. He said, You can always find new ways to use scrap metal, so it isnt scrap anymore. From what you see in his studio, and knowing the kind of material he used, what kind of art do you think Calder made? (MODELS, SCULPTURES, MOBILES) Thats right, Calder made mobiles and sculptures. Calder made very interesting and exciting mobiles. He became very famous, and his art can be seen all over the world. How did Calder ever get started with this type of art? From the time he was a small boy of ten, Sandy always had a workshop or studio of his own. Have you ever made a toy or game for yourself? His parents encouraged him to make things for himself. He and his sister Peggy made their own toys and games. When he was five years old, Sandy made wood and wire people and animals. At eight he was making jewelry for Peggys dolls out of little beads and wire that a telephone repairman had left in the street. When he was a famous artist he was still making jewelry for his wife, friends, and Peggy. Through the years, his workshops were all different. One was a tent; some were in basements of his homes. The one you see here was a separate building big enough for

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    his huge sculptures. Lets take a look at one of his sculptures. He began making metal sculptures as a child and continued as a skilled adult artist.

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    2. HORSE What kind of animal did he portray with this wire sculpture? (HORSE) Is it ABSTRACT or realistic? (ABSTRACT) What did he change? (PROPORTIONS OF BODY) Lets look closely to discover more about this sculpture. First notice the legs where they narrow down from two wires to one. Calder wrapped, or coiled the wire around instead of welding with heat to make the connection. Notice next the bony structure on the horses back. Can you find his mane? What changed when he created the horses mane? (USED THINNER WIRE) Have you heard of or used 3-D glasses? When you wear 3-D glasses, what happens? (THINGS HAVE DEPTH, SEEM MORE REAL) The term THREE-DIMENSIONAL applies not only to movies but to art as well. Do you think this sculpture is 3-dimensional? (YES) What three dimensions does it have? (DEPTH, HEIGHT, WIDTH)

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    3. LOBSTER TRAP AND FISHTAIL Mobiles are Calders most important works, and they are the American sculpture most admired by people all over the world. Calder invented and perfected this art of motion. Try to imagine this beautiful mobile in motion. Calder again started learning this art of motion as a child. Im sure all of you liked to race cars and trucks around when you were small. But Sandy was more creative than that when it came to moving things around for play. Peggy remembers Sandy inventing car races pulled by horned toads in Arizona when she and Sandy were children. And how do you suppose he managed to get those toads to move? He dangled flies in front of them for appetizing encouragement. He harnessed his matchbox cars to the toads with thread, and off they raced! So by the time he was an adult, he had done many experiments with moving things. Lets listen to Calder describe how he creates a mobile.

    Click Audio

    I start by cutting out a lot of shapes. Next I file them and smooth them off. Some are bits I just happen to find. Then I arrange them on a table with wires between the pieces for the overall pattern. Finally I cut some more on them with the shears, figuring the balance. You put a shape here and then you put another shape at the other end and then you balance them on your finger. I begin with the smallest and work up.

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    End Of Audio Continue Reading

    Having listened to his methods of working, can you point out what he did with the discs and wires to make this BALANCE? (DISCS ARE DIFFERENT SIZES, WIRES PROGRESSIVELY THINNER) Look carefully at this mobile and see if you can come close to Calders title. (HINTS IF NECESSARY: YOU WOULD FIND THEM IN THE OCEAN; ITS A RED FISH PEOPLE LIKE TO EAT IN RESTAURANTS, ITS CAUGHT IN A BASKET, THINK OF A PART OF A FISH) Calders title is Lobster Trap and Fishtail. Can you find the lobsters claw, the trap, and the skeleton of the fishtail now that you know the title? (YES) Is this abstract art? (YES) How does this mobile show balance? (PROGRESSIVELY SMALLER SHAPES, LARGE TRAP ON ONE END, FISH SKELETON OPPOSITE, THINNER WIRES USED) Do you think he balanced this on his finger as he described earlier? (PERHAPS)

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    4. PHOTO OF CALDER WORKING IN STUDIO Calder always made his mobiles simple, with simple tools. He always carried a few small tools with him when he traveled so that he could set up a workshop anywhere. He deliberately avoided using power tools. All his mobiles were made to be taken apart easily. They could be mailed or shipped in surprisingly small packages when laid flat. His smallest mobiles were made to fit into envelopes. Wouldnt that be an intriguing envelope to receive and open? Weve seen a wonderful hanging mobile. But not all mobiles hang from ceilings. Can you think of another position for a mobile? - Click Next To Change Slide 5. BABY SPIDER This is a standing mobile. Can it still move? (YES) There are three kinds of mobiles: hanging, standing, and those that attach to walls. Calder designed all three kinds. Lets try to again guess Calders title for this mobile. Clues: Something alive, small insect, spins webs. The title of this standing mobile is Baby Spider. How does it remind you of a spider? (LONG LEGS, UNUSUAL ANGLES, CRAWLING) Notice the colors Calder has used. In Lobster Trap and Fishtail, he used two of these colors. What were they? (BLACK, RED) And what color did he add in Baby Spider? (YELLOW) What did Calder add to this mobile to allow the shapes more directions for floating? (CHAINS) Is this abstract art? (YES) Is it three-dimensional? (YES)

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    How did Calder ever get started making his unusual mobiles? Another famous artist also worked on balance in his art. He arranged red, yellow, and blue squares and rectangles on his canvasses to balance. His art was completely abstract. Let me show you his geometric art and how it influenced Calder.

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    6. COMPOSITION III (BY MONDRIAN) What colors do you see? (RED, YELLOW, BLACK) Mondrians artwork is in the colors of red, yellow and black. When Calder decided to become an artist, after studying to be an engineer, he settled in Paris, France. The great Dutch painter, Mondrian, lived in Paris, and he invited Calder to his studio. Lets also visit Mondrians studio. - Click Next To Change Slide 7. PHOTO OF MONDRIANS STUDIO Calder liked Mondrians bright rectangles and his choice of colors. When Sandy saw the pieces of colored cardboard tacked on Mondrians wall, he thought, It would be fun to make these rectangles move. And that was the beginning of Calders mobiles! So Calder was an inventor as well as an artist. He invented the mobile! He followed Mondrians choice of colors, and red, yellow, and black eventually came to be known as Calders Colors. But Calder didnt put movement into all of his art. What do you think the word STABILE means? (DOESNT MOVE) Lets look at a Calder stabile.

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    8. WHALE His stabiles can be seen all over the world and seem to be the exact opposite of the mobiles he created. They certainly are stabile instead of mobile, but even so there is always a sense of movement in their design. Over the years Calder made them bigger and bigger, and most are painted solid black or red. For a big stabile, such as this entitled Whale, Sandy made a scale model. Then skilled metal workers would machine-cut the plates of heavy steel that were then curved between rollers and lifted by cranes to be put together by huge bolts. What do you see in this abstract stabile that you can relate to a whale? (COLOR, FINS, WAVES, SIZE) What can you pick out that gives it a sense of movement, even though it is stationary? (CURVES OF DESIGN)

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