Art Gallery of York University




Alexander Calder
Model of Man, 1967

Alexander Calder was a distinguished American sculptor, painter, illustrator and engineer. Graduating with a mechanical engineering degree in 1919, Calder's artistic career began in New York in the mid-1920s. During the 1930s he began to explore the problem of physical movement within a work of art, resulting in the form of the "mobile." These mobiles were among the forerunners of kinetic art and were concerned with the expression of free and uncontrolled movement.

Calder coined the term "stabile" to refer to any piece of sculpture that did not move. Its genesis appears to have been in certain elements of the hanging mobile, yet the stabile provides a different experience for the spectator as he or she moves around the object.

Man, the 21-metre-high stainless steel sculpture unveiled at Expo '67 in Montreal was the biggest stabile Calder had made to that time. Originally entitled Three Disks, Calder changed the name to Man to Complement the theme for the exposition.

It was donated to York University by the International Nickel Companyin 1967.

American, 1898-1976
painted carbon steel
3.6 x 5.15 x 2.7 m
approx 1/6 scale maquette for Man at Expo '67, Montreal


Art Gallery of York University, N145 Ross Building, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3, Canada ,