Silence. Stillness, yet movement. And … balance. That’s all it takes for a mobile to cultivate peace in the viewer’s mind. Until early September, the Orange County Museum of Art displays the serene works of Alexander Calder and seven other contemporary artists of Calder’s style.

For most of his long career in the 20th century, Calder created an estimate of 2,000 mobiles. With his plays on mass form and movement, Calder is one of the most celebrated artists of the mobile world. He creates these self-supporting kinetic sculptures from his distinct use of primary colors and geometric shapes through which he creates abstract shapes that balance and move on their own.

His innovations were rarely planned before they were created. Calder preferred working directly with his materials, cutting the shapes, balancing and counterbalancing them. With their simple structures, the ordinary viewer may be distracted from the details of the work, but this seems to be the point. Nevertheless, Calder was one of the most detailed artists, experimenting with a variety of materials, he hand painted with small brushes.

His mobiles come in three major forms. They are either hung like the Four Boomerangs (ca.1949), possess movable features such as the Little Face (ca.1943) or create abstract forms through movable features such as the Chat-Mobile (Cat Mobile) (1966).

The majority of the exhibition is to shrine of Calder. His primary colors and thoroughly balanced, intricate forms have such a style of their own that amidst the seven other contemporary artists, who revere Calder’s artistic vision, it is obvious as to which works belong to him. His mobiles fascinated youngsters and adults alike at the opening reception, with their swaying and slow-motion bouncy movements and shadows they cast on the white walls of the museum.

Shadows: This is one aspect that the viewer must keep an eye out for. Although Calder’s mobiles are enchanting on their own, the shadows that are cast by the sculptures are what add a twist. Having one of the smaller mobiles created by Calder back home, it was a truly energetic and vibrant experience to see a major portion of his collections in a properly curated setting. The amazing range in size and forms were fit to be displayed in a large venue.

The other portion of the exhibition was comprised of seven other contemporary artists including Martin Boyce, Nathan Carter, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Aaron Curry, Kristi Lippire, Jason Meadows and Jason Middlebrook, who displayed a variety of one to four works each, depending on their size. With their own artistic twist to Calder’s style, the artists rejuvenated Calder’s mobile world. Boyce explored the functionality of design through geometry and repetition such as his Fear Meets the Soul (2008). Nathan Carter as well as all the others represented their more up-to date style of the already modern works of Calder.

Organized into three full sections, the works are displayed in a large arena where they utilize space and lighting to the fullest degree. Those who desire explanations of each artwork can be delighted, because the museum provides free audio guides on your very own cellular phone. If you do happen to need fresh air, you can always step out onto the museum’s patio and enjoy the fresh breeze of California’s Newport Beach.

Orange County Museum of Art is located at 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach. For more information, visit