Alexander Calder’s name is synonymous with air-borne, witty constructions of crisp planes and lines, pared down to essentials and delicately balanced. The same cannot be said of Calder: The Conquest of Time, a biography by Jed Perl.1 It’s a hefty six hundred, intensely serious pages (not counting notes and back-matter) and packed with detail. Ample biographies are common enough, but Perl’s bulky book, subtitled “The Early Years: 1898–1940,” accounts for only the first forty-two years of Calder’s life—he died aged seventy-eight in 1976. It’s worth noting that Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan dealt brilliantly with the whole of Willem de Kooning’s...


A Message from the Editors

Our past successes are owed to our greatest ambassadors: our readers. Our future rests on your support, as The New Criterion Editor Roger Kimball explains. Will you help us continue to bring our incisive review of the arts and culture to the next generation of readers?

Popular Right Now