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Roving Rube

Outdoor Art

June 4, 2003

Calderesque "stabile" , Midtown Madison Ave


Rube's notes: The Rube had never felt particularly drawn to this sculpture, until he realized it could count for a another day in our Outdoor Art Series; then he went over to take a look. It is kind of neat. (The Rube's thoughts when looking at art range from "wow", "kind of neat", "interesting", and "don't get it". He always wanted to be one of those tour guides that can say something interesting about any piece they encounter, but so far it hasn't happened.)

The Rube does have a soft spot for Alexander Calder, because one day at MoMA he saw one of his "mobiles" in a stairwell and became fascinated by how it changed as it turned, and felt he finally in some way was Experiencing Art ...This piece is similar, except it stays still and you walk around it to make it change. Hence it is a "stabile".

There seem to be a lot of these sorts of sculptures around the city, what the Rube would call "Calderesque", and he wondered why other sculptors, like this one, would imitate Calder, and what Calder would think of this. He found the initials "CA '75" done by a welder's torch on the other side of a front leg here, and wondered if that would be enough for him to identify who this was.

Yesterday he was at Lincoln Center and walked all around a sculpture (which will be tomorrow's NYCJPG) in the same family as this, only black, and he saw the same initials burned into it. Only this time he knew from his guidebook that Alexander Calder did that one. So the initials on both, when read correctly, were "AC".

This one is even painted "Calder Red", the Rube learned from a Google Search, which many paint stores will know what to give you if you ask for it.

The moral is, if you see a sculpture that looks like a Calder, chances are it is.

Notice the feet have bolt-holes in them, to secure it in case they were worried someone would make off with it, or the wind would blow it over.












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