Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program

Art History

Project Advisor 1

Tom Wolf

Project Advisor 2

Susan Aberth

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This project examines the works Alexander Calder produced throughout his life, in a little-studied medium known as the opaque watercolor, or gouache. This subject within this major artist's oeuvre has hardly any scholarship on the matter. For this reason, the project provides a chronology of the types of styles and techniques that surface between the 1920's and 1970's. The project examines the affects of major painters such as Miro and Mondrian upon Calder's work, through specific visual cues in the gouaches. The project also takes a look at how World War II and Vietnam impacted the psyche of the artist and content of his gouaches. This project also pays attention to how Calder's engagement with the preforming arts evidences in the styles of his gouaches. Overall, the intention of this project is to bring to light these beautiful and rather understudied works. In so doing, the reader gains a more comprehensive understanding of nature and essence of Mr. Calder, glimpsing the details of his life and development.

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