Abstraction Inspiration: Alexander Calder at the National Gallery of Art

Over the holiday season, I traveled home to Virginia to visit my Grandmother and Maryland to visit my Father. Whenever I am city-hopping I take the time to explore the local museums. The last time I went to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. the West Wing of their museum, which is home to more contemporary modern artists, wasn't fully functional with exhibitions. While I can appreciate what some call 'classical art', I am more interested in contemporary modern aesthetically. A few favorites on display at the National Gallery were: Constantin Brancusi, Max Ernst, Jean Arp and Alexander Calder.

Alexander Calder was the first artist I remember growing an obsession for when I was in high school. I will admit that my high school wasn't well equipped for education in the arts as it was more geared towards Math, Science and Technology. With that being said, I was well into my late teens before I discovered the world of art as it relates to quote-unquote, icons, legends, and masters. Alexander Calder's work caught my attention immediately. Maybe it was the strong graphic nature of his abstracted forms, or his strict use of primary colors in his mobiles that attracted me? Whatever it was about his work, it captivated me then and still excites me now, almost 12-13 years later.

In preparation for creating a series of pottery featuring my hand-drawn surface abstractions I was attentive to the National Gallery's collection of work by Calder; prime for study, prime for inspiration.