Alexander Calder - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Sunday, June 29, 2008 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Burgess Meredith, New York

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Galerie Maeght, Calder, 14 May – 8 June, 1985; Beverly Hills, Gagosian Gallery, Alexander Calder, 30 May – 26 June, 2003

  • Literature

    J. Lipman, Calder's Universe, New York, 1976, p. 171

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Why must art be static? You look at an abstraction, sculptured or painted, an entirely exciting arrangement of planes, spheres, nuclei, entirely without meaning. It would be perfect but it is always still. The next step in sculpture is motion."(Alexander Calder, referring to his abstract kinetic sculptures on display at the Julien Levy Gallery, New York, 1932. Excerpted from the New York World-Telegram, 11 June, 1932)
    'Happy as Larry' was a theatrical play directed by Burgess Meredith in 1949 which included a set design by Alexander Calder. It was an important year for the artist as it was the same year he constructed his largest sculpture to that date and also began collaborating with stage shows. It was also the year he established his representation with the Maeght gallery in Paris which would last his entire lifetime. The Happy as Larry mobile piece consists of 4 large rings suspended onto three separate rods, painted and playful in their recognizable Calder style.  

  • 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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Happy as Larry

Mobile of painted sheet metal and rod.
Height: 116 cm. (45 3/4 in). Span: 106 cm. (41 3/4 in).

Signed with initials AC on one of the elements.

£400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for £409,250

Contemporary Art Day Sale

30 June 2008, 10am & 2pm