Alexander Calder - Modern and Contemporary Editions New York Sunday, November 23, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gift from the artist, 1972. 

  • Catalogue Essay

    Calder gave this normally unsigned print to the current owner and signed it at a Perls Gallery opening in 1972.
    Just as One can compose colors, or forms, so one can compose motions. Alexander Calder, 1933
    Printmaking activity in New York during the war years centered around [Stanley] Hayter's Atelier 17 and, to a lesser extent, the private studio of [Kurt] Seligmann. In 1943 the literary art review VVV---begun the year before by [Andre] Breton in association with the younger sculptor David Hare, Max Ernst, and later Marcel Duchamp---published a portfolio of works by a group of artists residing in and around New York at that time.  The portfolio, unbound and contained in a printed cover and slipcase, consisted of original works by ten artists.  The works were the products of various media---etchings (all printed at Seligmann's studio) by Calder, Leonora Carrington, Marc Chagall, Andre Masson, Kurt Serligmann, and Yves Tanguy; a manipulated and experimental photograph by Hare (printed from an intentionally burned negative); a 'poem-collage' by Breton; a pastel frottage by Ernst; and two original painted works by Roberto Matta and the young American artist Robert Motherwell. This portfolio, now considered a very rare plum, was announced as an edition of fifty copies, but because of the minuteness of the public responsive to such an offering, only twenty copies were ever assembled. (Timothy Baum, The Surrealist Printmaker, Surrealist Prints from the Gilbert Kaplan Collection, Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, University of California, Los Angeles, 1996, p.96)

  • 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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Score for Ballet 0-100, from VVV Portfolio

Engraving, on Umbria Italia paper, with full margins,
I. 11 3/8 x 14 7/8 in. (28.9 x 37.8 cm)
S. 14 x 18 in. (35.6 x 45.7 cm)

signed in pencil (later), from the projected edition of 50 (only 20 were printed), with plate tone, pale light-staining, soiling and minor staining in the margins and in places along the sheet edges, a few short tears at the upper sheet edge, otherwise in good condition, framed.

$15,000 - 20,000 

Modern and Contemporary Editions

23 Nov 2008, 2pm
New York