Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933- Joan Simon, Brigitte Leal

Paul Klee famously described his artistic method as “taking a line for a walk.” Sculptor Alexander Calder charmingly walked his line into the third dimension. The exhibit (now at the Whitney Museum) and its catalog, Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933 (Whitney/Centre Pompidou/Yale Univ., $60)—written and edited by co-curators Joan Simon and Brigitte Leal—demonstrates how Calder made crucial stylistic breakthroughs during his sojourn overseas. A genius with wire and pliers, he created portraits of friends and celebrities. He showed a special affinity for animals, and his Circus—movable beasts and performers made of wire, cloth, and wood—was the hit of Paris. Later, Calder created his first delicate, abstract mobiles and stabiles there. This is an inspiring book, bursting with creative joy.