Alexander Calder - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, April 20, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Art Vivant Inc., New Rochelle, New York
    Parker Street 470 Gallery, Boston
    Private East Coast Collection
    by descent to the present owners

  • Literature

    Leonard Hutton Galleries catalogue no. 18

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1971, Calder joined with the finest tapestry weavers in the world headed by Jean Pinton in the Aubusson region of France to produce a group of spectacular tapestries.

    The ancient tradition of hand-woven Aubusson tapestries is in itself a cause for wonder. Since the 12th century, the process has involved a precision and expertise in selecting the exact color, dyeing the wool and interpreting the artist's cartoon (drawing) into weave. With careful hand work, the weaver, in an average month, turns out only one single yard of tapestry. The design for such a tapestry is not simply a blown-up gouache painting, but involves a feeling for textural representation on the part of the artist. He must understand how his design can be interpreted by the weaver. Similarly the weaver may improvise on an artist's theme to create the effect he feels the artist intended. This process results in a synthesis of idea and execution which blend here in teh inventiveness of both Calder and the weavers themselves. This can readily be seen upon inspection of the various weaves and textures which make up the tapestries. Rightfully then, each Aubusson tapestry includes the artist's signature and the mark of the weaver incorporated into the fabric.

    Calder's Aubusson tapestries are limited according to French law to editions of six. They are woven by demand; therefore only one from a set will be woven at one time and numbered serially (1/6, 2/6, etc.). This number appears on a flap folded to the back of the work.

    Tapestry weaving is an ancient art which was once solely the provenance of royalty to embellish castle walls. Today Aubusson continues to produce hand work of the finest quality of which Calder's bright and spirited tapestries are an exuberant and vital manifestation.

    Foreward from Calder, Aubusson Tapestries, Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York, April 14 - May, 1972.

  • 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.

    View More Works


The yellow worm is longer than the red worm

Hand woven wool Aubusson tapestry in colors.
68 1/2 x 49 in. (174 x 124.5 cm)
Signed with woven signature, stitch-numbered 2/6 and with the Tapisserie d'Aubusson Pinton labels on the reverse.

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $47,880

Contact Specialist

212 940 1220


Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 20 - 22 April 2021