The Great Sail



Robert Gardner, 1966

Runtime: 10 minutes

Alexander Calder’s La Grande Voile was erected on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in 1966 with the artist directing the work. As the spectacular steel forms of this monumental stabile rise, it is filmed with time lapse and verite photography. One can see that the structure owes its spare elegance to the precision of its design and construction. Calder remains absorbed in quiet concentration as skeptical students and bemused bystanders observe the somewhat improbable event.