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The Spider
© 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS London

Reference URL

The Spider About 1935 - 1937

Not on display

This is among the earliest of Calder's hanging mobiles. Calder made frequent trips to Paris where he was friendly with the Surrealists. The poetic, floating forms of this mobile look like three-dimensional equivalents of Miró's paintings. It has been suggested that they have a source in scientific models of the planetary system. Arp's sculptures were also an influence on Calder. Due to his training as an engineer, Calder was well acquainted with the mechanical principles required to make his mobiles balance and move freely.

Glossary Open


A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.



  • Acc. No. GMA 1586
  • Medium Metal, painted
  • Size 104.00 x 89.00 x 0.70 cm (framed: 121.90 x 118.00 x 2.50 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1976