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Abstract world - La Défense district, Paris

In the foreground can be seen "Stabile” sculpture of Alexander Calder - Paris - La Défense - (1976)

Alexander Calder

1898–1976, American sculptor, b. Philadelphia; son of a prominent sculptor, Alexander Stirling Calder. Among the most innovative modern sculptors, Calder was trained as a mechanical engineer. In 1930 he went to Paris and was influenced by the art of Mondrian and Miró. In 1932 he exhibited his first brightly colored constellations, called mobiles, consisting of painted cut-out shapes connected by wires and set in motion by wind currents. The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, has several examples. These buoyant inventions and his witty wire portraits, his colorful and complex miniature zoo (1925; Whitney Mus., New York City), and his immobile sculptures known as stabiles, have brought Calder world renown. Many of his later works are huge, heavy, and delicately balanced mobiles produced for public buildings throughout the world. Calder is also noted for his book illustrations and stage sets. He had studios in Roxbury, Conn., and Paris.

La Défense

La Défense is the prime high-rise office district of Paris. Many of Paris's tallest buildings can be found here.

A Forest of Towers

In 1951, the Défense site was chosen as an office center. In 1958, development of the area was started by a special agency, the Etablissement Public d'Aménagement de la Défense.
The first plan had 2 rows of skyscrapers of equal height. In 1964, a plan was approved to have 20 office towers of 25 stories each. Little of the development on the Défence was actually built according to this plan, as most companies started to press for taller office towers.
The result is a mix of mostly cheap towers of different heights. The tallest of them, the GAN tower, measured 179 meters (589 ft). The height of several towers, and in particular the GAN tower caused a public outcry as the 'forest of towers' disturbs the view on the Arc de Triomphe as seen from the Etoile. Partly in response to this criticism a new monument was built at the entrance of the Défense as a counterweight for the Arc de Triomphe: The Tête Défense , also known as the Grande Arche de la Défense.
(Source: aviewoncities)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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