Be careful where you step. Everything here is important.

In his vast sculpture studio in Roxbury, Connecticut, Alexander Calder made it clear that what seemed to be clutter was in fact highly organized chaos. Calder admonished me in a friendly but emphatic tone, busying himself with snipping at a triangular piece of metal from which he was fashioning the prototype of some future stabile. Works in progress were strewn about, although Calder knew exactly where everything was. [page 22]

Filled from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall with his creations, the Roxbury house was more like a craft museum than a home. Believing it almost a sin to buy something he could make himself, Sandy would drop anything he was involved in, no matter how important, and beat out a roasting pan for Louisa or fashion a large-capacity serving ladle or a sieve. This do-it-yourself dictum was undoubtedly a carryover from their earlier, leaner days, but it had become an obsession with Sandy. [page 32]

Louisa's hand in the Calder household was obvious. She infused colors into the stark surroundings made the interiors stunning. Working on designs that Sandy drew on canvas, Louisa hooked rugs that complemented the paintings and artwork of their genius friends. The floors were Louisa's, the ceiling belonged to Sandy, and their friends festooned the walls. From Louisa's sensibility came the objects and the wares and the plants that filled the surfaces. [page 41]

There were no limits to Sandy's inspirations when it came to making jewelry for Louisa. He fashioned rings and earrings, bracelets and belt buckles, broaches and combs for her. Earrings might be small animals and insects or tiny mobiles. From initials to fancy swirls, his brooches often intertwined gold, silver, or brass with small stones or pieces of colored glass. Like his rings, they could be marvels of one-piece simplicity. Louisa displayed some of these unique creations over her dresser in Roxbury. The peasant blouses and colorful native fabrics she bought while traveling in Mexico, South America, and India made wonderful backgrounds for this wearable art. [page 44]

Excerpted from Calder at Home. The Joyous Environment of Alexander Calder by Pedro E. Guerrero

For more, visit: CALDER FOUNDATION

pina :: a film for pina bausch by wim wenders


Press play to view Official International Trailer.


Meeting Pina was like finding a language finally.

Before I didn't know how to talk,

and then she suddenly gave me a way to express myself - a vocabulary.

When I began I was pretty shy. I still am.

And after many months of rehearsing, she called me, and said,

"You just have to get crazier."

And that was the only comment in almost 20 years.

Pina was a painter.

She consistently questioned us.

That's how we became the paint, to color her images.

For example, she'd ask for "the moon"?

I depicted the word with my body

So that she could see and feel it.

Sometimes she said things like:

"Go on searching!"

But that was all she said.

It meant you had to keep searching,

without knowing where to look,

nor whether you were on the right track.

Pina was a radical explorer.

She looked deep into our souls.

There was one particular subject she kept asking us about:

What are we longing for?

Where does all this yearning come from?

Click to visit the official webpage :

"Dance for love." - Pina

Cosmic Art by Piper/Piper/Swann (published 1975)


The artist must be a philosopher, a psychologist, a student through his entire life. The search for knowledge, not only of one's craft but of one's self and the world around, is necessary to his growth and to the maturity of his art.


Emil Bisttram,  Oversoul , c. 1941, oil on masonite, 36" x 27"   Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York

Emil Bisttram, Oversoul, c. 1941, oil on masonite, 36" x 27"

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York

Emil Bisttram,  Cosmic Egg Series no. 1 (Creative Forces)  , c. 1936, oil on canvas, 36" x 27"   Private Collection   Bisttram considered this one of his most important works. 

Emil Bisttram, Cosmic Egg Series no. 1 (Creative Forces) , c. 1936, oil on canvas, 36" x 27" 

Private Collection

Bisttram considered this one of his most important works. 

[images and words sourced from]

Emil Bisttram’s artistic career is of special interest because of the fascinating array of spiritual, philosophical, and scientific traditions he brought to bear on his painting.  Profoundly spiritual and convinced that all intellectual disciplines lead to divine truth, Bisttram enriched his compositions with references to such varied subjects as electricity, rebirth, the growth of plants, the healing power of the dance, planetary forces, the fourth dimension, and the male and female principles of nature.

Bisttram’s essential goal in building his compositions, however, was personal redemption.  For Bisttram, dividing space on a blank sheet of paper replicated such proportional divisions as were made by the Creator when He separated day from night, and earth from water.  Bisttram’s essential belief was that harmony was proportional, and that making harmonious, proportional divisions on a sheet of paper was a productive, life-giving, redemptive enterprise that combated negativity and disharmony.

The manner that Bisttram used to proportionally divide his compositions was dynamic symmetry, a method of picture composition based on Euclidean geometry developed by Jay Hambidge (1867-1924).  Bisttram used dynamic symmetry for the structure of his representational, abstract (cubist and futurist), and transcendental (non-objective) compositions.  For Bisttram, dynamic symmetry functioned as a compass that guided him through the many stylistic experiments he undertook, and provides the essential coherency for his work as a whole.