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In the fall of 1931, a significant turning point in Calder's artistic career occurred when he created his first truly kinetic sculpture and gave form to an entirely new type of art. At that time, on Euclid Avenue in Pasadena, I got my first tools and was given the cellar with its window as a workshop. My workshop became some sort of a center of attention; everybody came in.The first of these objects moved by systems of cranks and motors, and were dubbed "mobiles" by Marcel Duchamp—in French mobile refers to both "motion" and "motive." Calder soon abandoned the mechanical aspects of these works when he realized he could fashion mobiles that would undulate on their own with the air's currents. Portfolio of lithographs by Calder, Chillida, Guinovart, Miró, Ràfols-Casamada, Tàpies, Vedova, Viladecans. Mother and father were all for my efforts to build things myself—they approved of the homemade . (Calder 1966, 21) 1 January: Calder attends Pasadena's Tournament of Roses, where he experiences the four-horse chariot races.For three weeks following this visit, he created solely abstract paintings, only to discover that he did indeed prefer sculpture to painting. So I sent them another dollar and told them, “Look again.” They corroborated the first statement., in Philadelphia. (Calder 1966, 13) Spring: Stirling Calder contracts tuberculosis. (Calder 1966, 15; Hayes 1977, 18) End of March: Nanette picks up Calder and Peggy and they rejoin their father in Oracle.
He also began his association with the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York with his first show in 1934. (Calder 1966, 28; CF, Calder 1955–56, 7) Winter: The Calders move to Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
In October of 1930, Calder visited the studio of Piet Mondrian in Paris and was deeply impressed by a wall of colored paper rectangles that Mondrian continually repositioned for compositional experiments. But my grandfather Milne’s birthday was on August 23, so there might have been a little confusion.