Playing with wire


It was mid-morning on Sunday and we were sitting up in the cafe drinking cappuccinos, admiring the view and chatting away.My friend Heather is a member of the Tate and when she said that she could get me into the Calder exhibition, I jumped at the chance as I really like his work and it was a show that I’d been meaning to see. He’s famed for inventing the mobile and it was great to see the pieces that made his name -they sway gently in the slightest breeze and seem to be a cross between colourful foliage and strange amphibious creatures.The first room was my favourite though as it was so playful. Despite the simplicity of the medium, he had an incredible ability to capture a sense of character, twisting the wire and bringing his sketches to life.

fernand leger


  • mid-morning (noun)

In the middle of the morning

  • to chat away (phrasal verb)

To talk for a long time in a relaxed way

  • to get s.o into smth (phrasal verb )

To let someone into a place for free

  • to jump at the chance (phrase)

To respond quickly to an opportunity

  • to be famed for (adj. + prep)

To be famous for something

  • mobile (noun)

A decoration made from wire with small objects hanging from it that move around (often for babies)

  • to make s.o's name (phrase)

Something that makes someone famous

  • to sway (verb)

 To move gently from side to side

  • breeze (noun)

 A slight wind

  • to be a cross between (phrase)

 To be a mixture of two qualities or types

  • foliage (noun)

 Leaves of a plant or tree

  • amphibious (adj.)

Being able to live in water and on land

  • medium (noun)

 A particular material that an artist uses

  • to capture (verb)

To succeed in accurately expressing something

  • to twist (verb)

To bend or turn something

  • a sketch (noun)

A quick drawing



Image (at bottom)

Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976)

Fernand Léger c.1930

steel wireWire

420 x 380 mm

Private collection

© 2015 Calder Foundation

London New York / DACS, London

Image (at top)

Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976)

Gamma 1947

Painted sheet metal

1473 x 2133 x 914 mm

Collection of Jon A. Shirley

© 2015 Calder Foundation

New York / DACS