Video feature: 'Calder on Campus'

Calder index

The sculptures "Man" and "The Kite That Never Flew," by pioneering artist Alexander Calder, are on display in front of the Princeton University Art Museum. James Steward (above), director of the Princeton University Art Museum, talks about the two pieces and abstract art.

Video stills from Danielle Alio, Office of Communications

Two sculptures by American artist Alexander Calder are on display in front of the Princeton University Art Museum through June 15. The abstract pieces, made of painted steel and produced in 1967, are on loan from the Fisher Family Collection.

The pieces are titled "Man" and "The Kite That Never Flew." The stationary abstract structures are known as stabiles, an art form invented by Calder. In this video about the sculptures, James Steward, director of the Princeton University Art Museum, discusses Princeton's campus art and Calder's unique contributions to the form.

"They are important for the fact that he was one of the real innovators in the move to pure abstraction, leaving aside any notion of representation in the form of the sculpture," Steward said.

In addition to a number of gallery-sized pieces by the artist, the museum holds one large work by Calder, "Five Disks: One Empty," in its permanent collection through the John B. Putnam Jr. Memorial Collection of outdoor sculpture, part of the campus collections. That piece, created specifically for the University, is located on Fine Hall Plaza.

Begun by Doris and the late Donald Fisher, who co-founded Gap Inc., the Fisher Family Collection has grown to be one of the world's most important collections of modern and contemporary art. The family has supported the University in numerous ways over the past four decades.

View a video about the Alexander Calder sculptures "The Kite That Never Flew" (left) and "Man" (right). (Video by Danielle Alio, Office of Communications)