Alexander Calder - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Friday, May 11, 2012 | Phillips

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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

    Alexander Calder worked as an abstract sculptor and has been commonly referred to as the creator of the mobile. He employed industrious materials of wire and metal and transformed them into delicate geometric shapes that respond to the wind or float in air. Born into a family of sculptors, Calder created art from childhood and moved to Paris in 1926, where he became a pioneer of the international avant-garde. In addition to his mobiles, Calder produced an array of public constructions worldwide as well as drawings and paintings that feature the same brand of abstraction. Calder was born in Lawnton, Pennsylvania.

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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.

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $206,500

Contemporary Art Day Sale

Contemporary Art Day
11 May 2012
New York