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Untitled, 1949

Origin United States
Period 1920-1950
Materials Gouache and ink on paper
W. 12 in; H. 9 in;
W. 30.48 cm; H. 22.86 cm;
Condition Excellent.
Creation Date 1949
Description Alexander CALDER
(Am. 1898-1976)

Untitled, 1949

Gouache and ink on paper
Signed, dedicated and dated
9 x 12 inches
framed 18 1/4 x 21 inches

This work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York

From the Collection of Henry Clifford, Curator of Paintings for the Philadelphia Museum of Art and by descent till 2010
Private Collection

Henry Clifford served as the Curator of Paintings for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for twenty-two years, from 1945 until his retirement in 1965. He was instrumental in the Museum's 1950 acquisition of the pioneering Arensberg Collection of Modern Art which included Duchamp's famous Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2. The collection later traveled to The Solomon Guggenheim Museum for their 1961 exhibition, Paintings from the Arensberg and Gallatin Collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for which Mr. Clifford wrote the catalog. Henry Clifford was a champion and friend of many significant modernist artists, including Alexander Calder. Untitled 1949 was a gift by Calder to Henry and his wife Esther. It remained in their family's collection for over 65 years.

Alexander CALDER (1898-1976)

Alexander Calder, whose illustrious career spanned much of the 20th century, is among the most acclaimed and influential sculptors of our time. Born in a family of celebrated, though more classically trained artists, Calder utilized his innovative genius to profoundly change the course of modern art. He began by developing a new method of sculpting: by bending and twisting wire, he essentially "drew" three-dimensional figures in space. He is renowned for the invention of the mobile, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony. Calder also devoted himself to making outdoor sculpture on a grand scale from bolted sheet steel. Today, these stately titans grace public plazas in cities throughout the world.

Alexander Calder developed a passion for gouaches early in his career, appreciating the ease at which he could work with this medium while combining his love for drawing and eye for color. Seemingly simple and often abstract in nature, Calder’s gouaches reveal a mastery of line, solid balance of composition and predilection for primary colors, all of which translated into vibrant and pulsating works of art.

As the range and breadth of his various projects and commissions indicate, Calder's artistic talents were renowned worldwide by the 1960s. A retrospective of his work opened at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1964. Five years later the Fondation Maeght, in Saint-Paul-de-Venice, France, held its own Calder retrospective. In 1966, Calder, together with his son-in-law Jean Davidson, published a well-received autobiography. Additionally, both of Calder's dealers, Galerie Maeght in Paris and the Perls Gallery in New York averaged about one Calder show each per year.

Calder was prolific and worked throughout his career in many art forms. He produced drawings, oil paintings, watercolors, etchings, gouache and serigraphy. He also designed jewelry, tapestry, theatre settings and architectural interiors. In 1976, he attended the opening of yet another retrospective of his work, Calder's Universe, at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Just a few weeks later, Calder died at the age of seventy-eight, ending the most prolific and innovative artistic career of the twentieth century.
Styles / Movements Modernism, Post War
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