Tag Archive | saurien

Alexander Calder’s Saurien Sculpture on 57th Street

alexander calder saurien sculpture photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

In the absence of any organized celebrations for the holiday, I spent the afternoon of July 4th stretching my legs in midtown and enjoying the sites ‘on exhibit’ in the museum of the streets. At the southwest corner of Madison Avenue and 57th Street, I paused to appreciate a monumental sculpture that I’ve been passing by for years now, which is Alexander Calder’s bright orange, steel installation known as Saurien.

alexander calder saurien sculpture photo by gail worley

Saurien reaches a height of 18 feet at its tallest point, and the piece reminds me of one of Louis Bourgeois‘ monumental spiders, in that it stretches its ‘legs’ across the entrance to the IBM building, inviting visitors to walk under and around it. Although I’ve never read this in a formal description of the sculpture, one critic has claimed that this Calder is clearly meant to represent a dinosaur, with its stegosaurus-like spikes emerging from the top two arches. I can see that.

calder sculpture detail photo by gail worley

The irregular-edged, top forms inspired me to take this shot, with the spikes set in contrast against the skyline. Artsy!

alexander calder saurien sculture photo by gail worley

While Calder is most famous for his kinetic sculptures and delicate, hanging mobiles, Saurien is an example of the artist’s fixed work, which are called stabiles. Saurien was created in Calder’s Connecticut studio in 1975.

alexander calder saurien scuplture photo by gail worley

Alexander Calder’s Saurien is Located in Front of the IBM Building in Midtown, at 590 Madison Avenue, on the Southwest Corner at 57th Street, NYC.