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  • Provenance

    Gift of the artist to Lucien Thibaut, France
    Private collection, Paris
    Sale: Sotheby's, New York, Contemporary Art Part II, May 3, 1995, lot 291
    Private Collection
    Sale: Sotheby's, New York, Contemporary Art Part II, November 20, 1996, lot 81
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Alexander Calder’s reputation as the world’s leading abstract sculptor has given him great status in Twentieth Century art. Instead of concentrating on two-dimensional works, Calder consumed himself with the prospect of structure, incorporating color and movement to the extent that his sculptures defy the label of three-dimensional art. As they move continuously in a perpetual balance of elegance, his sculptures border on a forth dimension, one where the formal relationships of both painting and standing structure intertwine. Calder’s mobiles are themselves a creation of genius, as they continue to fascinate us with their engineering, senses of humor and play, and, of course, abstract beauty.
    The present lot, Untitled, 1960, displays a mobile much smaller in stature than what most are accustomed to seeing in Calder’s extensive oeuvre of mobiles. In it, we see his fascination with grand creations scaled down, but no less captivating. Although small, the present lot displays the same performative charm and graceful stasis that lends Calder’s mobiles a coveted place in art history. "To most people who look at a mobil, it's no more than a series of flat objects that move. To a few though, it may be poetry." - Alexander Calder
    (A. Pierre, Motion - Emotion: The Art of Alexander Calder, O'Hara Gallery, New York, 1999)

  • Artist Biography

    Alexander Calder

    American • 1898 - 1976

    One of the most significant artists of the 20th century, Alexander Calder defied gravity and breathed life into sculpture with his innovative and enrapturing approach. Producing art over a fifty-year span, Calder created a body of work that is impressive both for its breadth and diversity as well as for its universal mastery of form and space. Calder is perhaps best known for his enchanting series of mobiles, kinetic sculptures that float gracefully in space, but he also created a series of monumental yet airy stabiles, massive abstract forms that are bound to the earth, and was a prolific draftsman, painter, printmaker, and creator of jewelry, ornament, and ephemera. Calder’s work on an intimate scale is as impressive as his monumental sculpture.

    Calder’s work is well represented in the world’s most prestigious arts institutions and he is universally regarded as one of the touchstones of the 20th century avant-garde; his work is routinely exhibited in single retrospectives across the globe, and Calder himself will receive his own institution in his native Philadelphia, which will be designed as a “sanctuary” by leading architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron.

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PROPERTY SOLD TO BENEFIT THE BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART

166

Untitled

1960
sheet metal, brass, wire and paint
3 x 3 1/2 x 1 3/4 in. (7.6 x 8.9 x 4.4 cm)
Initialed "CA" on the base. This work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York under the Application Number A10353.

Estimate
$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $206,500

Contemporary Art Day Sale

Contemporary Art Day
11 May 2012
New York