Alexander Calder’s love for France began with his arrival in Paris in 1926 and lasted until his death in 1976. The artist lived and worked in Paris intermittently for seven years, during which time he made the fabled Cirque Calder and invented wire sculpture. It was through these achievements that the artist met Piet Mondrian and Joan Miró, whose friendships would bear mutual admiration throughout Calder’s life.
Yet despite the impact that Paris had on him, Calder settled later in his career in Saché, a small village near Tours, which had been introduced to him by his friend Jean Davidson. The renovation of Calder’s François Premier house on the banks of the Indre was completed in 1954, and the construction of the large studio he designed on a hilltop near the property was completed in 1963.
In Saché, Calder lived amidst nature from which he abstracted elements of form. The artist chose to construct his studio with raw materials in order to create a simple yet functional environment. With the assistance of an industrial ironworks, he was able to fabricate monumental outdoor sculpture, and he devoted much of his time to public commissions.
Calder built a new house, Le Carroi, in 1969. For conceived it, he appealed to the French architect Jean-Claude Drouin. Since moving to Saché in the 1950s, he had developed relationships with villagers and took part in regional activities, becoming a mainstay in the Touraine region. He designed the interior space of his home to reflect the direct way of living that was a part of everyday life in the Indre-et-Loire Valley.
Today, the Atelier Calder preserves Calder’s legacy of artistic innovation through its artist-in-residence program. Residents enjoy the simplicity of living in Saché as Calder did, while receiving technical and financial support that allows them to create new work.
Ugo Mulas, Alexander Calder, Saché