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Google doodle for Alexander Calder

Last updated on: July 22, 2011 12:21 IST

Google Doodle celebrates Alexander Calder's birth anniversaryThe search engine celebrates the 113th birth anniversary of American artist and sculptor Alexander Calder with a doodle.

Two days ago, it was an arrangement of peas. Today, it's an interesting looking kinetic artwork that has replaced the Google logo, to celebrate the 113th birth anniversary of American artist and sculptor Alexander Calder.

Today's Google doodle is a 3-dimensional kinetic model that was invented by Alexander Calder. The Calder 'mobile' model emphasises on the principle of equilibrium where you have objects/structures hanging from rods. When these structures are in motion, they produce an artistic effect. They were called mobile models owing to their characteristic of inducing motion.

If you are using the Google chrome browser, you will see that the mobile Google doodle sways on its own. You can also control the doodle by clicking on it.

Calder who was born on July 22, 1898 in Lawnton, US, belongs to a family of artists. While both his father and grandfather were sculptors, his mother was a painter.

In 1909, when Calder was only 11 years old, he presented two of his first sculptures to his parents - a tiny dog and duck cut from a brass sheet and bent into a formation. He emphasised that the duck is kinetic - it rocks back and forth when tapped.

In 1919, he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. Further he underwent training in commercial arts and started working with artistes in New York, Berlin and Paris.

In the fall of 1931, he created his first truly kinetic sculpture and gave form to an entirely new type of art. The first of these objects that moved via systems of cranks and motors, were called 'mobiles' by fellow artiste Marcel Duchamp. These were later also called 'stabile' objects.
Calder's work and designs were appreciated world over. Calder died at the age of 78 on November 11, 1976.

Two months after his death, Calder was honoured with United States' highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.