In 1943, aluminum was being all used up in airplanes and becoming scarce....I devised a new form of art consisting of small bits of hardwood carved into shapes and sometimes painted, between which a definite relation was established and maintained by fixing them on the ends of steel wires.... I decided these objects were to be called "constellations."
Calder made about twenty-nine "constellations," including many variations on the type. Their title recalls his early abstract constructions, but the constellations differ in their open composition and the irregular shapes of the wooden objects. These curvilinear, biomorphic shapes, also found in Calder's gouaches of the same period, are related to the surrealist imagery of such painters as Joan Miró and Yves Tanguy.
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