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Alexander Calder: The Latest Architecture and News

Why Are Alexander Calder Sculptures So Overused in Architecture Renders?

09:30 - 28 June, 2017
OMA, Park Grove Condos, Miami, featuring Calder’s Flamingo, 1973. The work is actually installed in Federal Plaza in Chicago. Image Courtesy of OMA
OMA, Park Grove Condos, Miami, featuring Calder’s Flamingo, 1973. The work is actually installed in Federal Plaza in Chicago. Image Courtesy of OMA

This article was originally published by The Architect's Newspaper as "Rendering LOL: How architects are absurdly using Calder sculptures."

Why do so many architects use Alexander Calder sculptures in their renderings, even when the works have nothing to do with the institution or project depicted? The Calder Foundation has been tracking this phenomenon, and the results are featured in the images for this article.

A new exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York explores mobiles—kinetic sculptures in which carefully balanced components reveal their own unique systems of movement—created by American sculptor Alexander Calder from 1930 until 1968, eight years before his death.

Ateliers Jean Nouvel, 53 W. 53rd Street, New York, featuring Calder’s Sumac, 1961. It is part of a Private Collection. Image Courtesy of Ateliers Jean Nouvel Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Middle East Media Headquarters, featuring Calder’s La Grande vitesse, 1969. The monumental sculpture this model is based on is actually installed in Calder Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Image Courtesy of BIG Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), Godrej BKC, Mumbai, featuring Calder’s La Grande vitesse, 1969 (The monumental sculpture this model is based on is actually installed in Calder Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan). Image Courtesy of SOM Flamingo, 1973, installed at the Federal Center Plaza, Chicago. Image © Samuel Ludwig + 15