Alexander Calder

Totem, Alexander Calder, Saché - Photo Guillaume Blanc

All his life, the American artist Alexander Calder was very attached to France, where he spent half of his life. During his years in Paris (1926 - 1933), he met avant-garde artists and frequented surrealist and abstract circles. But in 1954, it was in Saché, south of Tours, a village he discovered thanks to his friend Jean Davidson, that he settled, first in the house known as "François I" on the banks of the Indre, then in 1963 he decided to build the large studio on the site of the Carroi overlooking the Indre valley.

In the United States, as in France, Alexander Calder's houses were always located in the middle of nature. The artist was inspired by the tranquility and the environment in which he lived. The geometrical shapes of his works had a direct connection with the manifestations of nature. For the construction of this studio, Alexander Calder wanted to use raw materials, favouring simplicity and functionality of space.


It is in this vast workshop, located in the heart of the Touraine region, that Alexander Calder gave the full measure of his talent. His Stabiles, monumental sculptures composed of metal plates riveted together, which are among the most astonishing works of the 20th century, were imagined and assembled in Saché, in collaboration with the Biemont company in Tours.

Ugo Mulas, Alexander Calder, Saché 

In 1969, Calder started building his house near the workshop. He commissioned the architect Jean-Claude Drouin to design it. Alexander Calder wanted a house for everyday life, a house "on his own scale" to live and enjoy the Indre valley, and he defined its forms and volumes.

At the time, Calder participated in the social and economic life of the region and developed numerous links with the inhabitants of Saché. Beyond the emblematic dimension of the site, Alexander Calder left a lasting imprint in the region, that of a generous and open contemporary creation, which the Association for the animation of the Atelier Calder wishes to preserve and extend through its role of welcoming artists in residence.

© ATELIER CALDER 2020