Obstreperous.

Ob•strep•er•ous:  adjective:  noisy and difficult to control.  :the boy is cocky and obstreperous: See note at vociferous.

Today I found an old issue of Art in America.  But not just any old issue.  It is the No. 2. issue from March/April 1969.  The cover is an Alexander (Sandy) Calder gouache painting.  Inside is an interview with the artist primarily about the installation of his artworks around the world.  In the last paragraph the writer, Robert Osborn, uses the word obstreperous to describe Calder:   { One key to this great sculptor is the fact that both of his parents were artists—as was his grandfather—and good ones too, and then he, the obstreperous bounce-out, turned into an engineer, and then as he says, bounced back to become artist and engineer combined. }

This is an important find for me because Calder is by far my favorite artist.  He invented an entirely new category of art. I have been lucky enough to travel to San Francisco to see the retrospective of his work, which was just amazing.  I have also been to National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC to see their collection of his work, including some of the jewelry and of course, the red and black mobile that practically fills the entire ceiling.  I have a lithograph of one of the Spiral series of gouache paintings from the 1970’s that I found framed at a thrift store that hangs by my desk. (Some other time I should do a post about the other framed print that I found that day, it is kind of unique too!)   I Ebay his name just to see what is up for auction on random days.

So, to walk into the used bookstore in my neighborhood to find this magazine is amazing, especially the fact that it is in such good condition.  Only a few small indications of its age, but mostly, it is like a time capsule.  I am always on the lookout for old out-of-print books about Calder, and new ones too for that matter.  Just last year after the exhibit closed at the Met in New York, I found out that there had been an exhibit of the jewelry he created and was able to grab one of the last of the soft cover books from the exhibit from the online museum store.  It’s amazing, just photos of all the jewelry he created that they could catalog and photograph.

It’s fun to read an interview with him, he had such an interesting perspective on life and art.  Obstreperous.  Word of the day.

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