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

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  • Provenance

    The Pace Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Best known as the inventor of the mobile and its static abstract counterpart, the stabile, much of Calder’s most original ideas and aesthetic were developed in the laboratory of his extensive, elaborate and functional Circus which he thoroughly developed while living in Paris between 1926 and 1931.
    Calder’s fascination with the circus began in 1925 while he was still studying at the Art Students’ League in New York. He spent two weeks sketching at Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus on a freelance assignment for the National Police Gazette and in 1926 began creating the first few figures of wire and wood. His circus figures included trapeze artists, clowns, exotic dancers, knife throwers and most importantly animals. (J.Yap, Cirque Calder taken from
    This childhood love with the spectacle and circus influenced Calder’s work throughout his life continually making references to the circus. In the Red Stag, Calder with great care creates the familiar shape of a stag, simple in its execution the final result is transformed from a sheet of metal into a tall standing deer. Witty and spontaneous, this piece reminds us of the qualities Calder had for being playful and inventive.

  • 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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Red Stag

Stabile of painted sheet material.
100 x 86.5 x 37 cm. (39 x 34 x 14 1/2 in).
Initialed and dated 'AC 73'.

£200,000 - 300,000 

Contemporary Art Day Sale

30 June 2008, 10am & 2pm