Gallows and Lollipops, 1960
Alexander Calder (1898-1976)
Location: Hewitt University Quadrangle (Beinecke Plaza)

The moving parts of Alexander Calder’s kinetic sculptures decorate and energize public spaces across the world. As the painted steel plates of Gallows and Lollipops hover and seesaw around the tip of their red tripod base, they obey chance atmospheric stimuli to destabilize the grid of Beinecke Plaza. Developed in the 1930s, the mobile became Calder’s trademark, combining influences from the avant-garde artists of prewar Paris. While his primary colors follow the purist palette of Piet Mondrian, the animated geometric shapes resemble the abstracted objects and animals in the surrealist paintings of Joan Miró and Paul Klee. This work’s title converts the swaying arms into images both delightful and unsettling, suggesting the endless flux and precarious balance of forces at work within the unconscious mind. Anonymous gift, 1975