October 30, 2019 12:00 EST

The Robert J. Morrison Collection

 
  Lot 111
 
Lot 111 - Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976)

111

Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976)
30th Anniversary of the World Federation of United Nations Associations Print

1975-76, pencil numbered 1270/1500, and with the 13-cent United Nations stamp and “First Day of Issue” stamp. Color lithograph on wove paper.
sheet: 11 x 8 1/2 in. (27.94 x 21.59 cm)
Unframed

note:
This lot will be accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the Director of United Nations, dated June 10, 1992.

Sold for $625
Estimated at $200 - $300


 

1975-76, pencil numbered 1270/1500, and with the 13-cent United Nations stamp and “First Day of Issue” stamp. Color lithograph on wove paper.
sheet: 11 x 8 1/2 in. (27.94 x 21.59 cm)
Unframed

note:
This lot will be accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the Director of United Nations, dated June 10, 1992.

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Alexander Calder

“The next step in sculpture is motion,” said Alexander Calder, one of the preeminent sculptors of the 20th century well-known for his static self-supporting abstract “stabile” sculptures. A fourth-generation artist and son of Alexander Sterling Calder, he is credited with introducing movement into three-dimensional works, initially through performances of his hand-activated single wire “Circus” figures (“Cirque Calder”) with motorized works. His iconic stabiles—painted sheet metal and wire mobiles activated by air currents—were first shown in America in 1932.

Over the past decade, Freeman’s has had the privilege to offer three remarkable Calder stabiles: The Red Bull (1973) sold for $530,500 in 2012, the 1966 Bushy-tailed Red achieved $327,750 in 2014, and Azul, Amarillo, blanco, sobre rojo (1955) sold for $241,000 in 2010. Calder’s gouache-on-paper works have also exceeded their pre-sale estimates, from the 1967 Spinnaker that achieved $181,250 in 2020 to Descending Discs (1972), which sold for $110,500 in 2014. Freeman’s has seen consistent interest in and lively bidding for this blue-chip artist in recent years.

Though Calder is perhaps best known for his stabiles, he also created paintings, gouaches, theater sets, jewelry designs, rugs, and tapestries. As a young man, Calder earned a degree in mechanical engineering and published a drawing manual entitled Animal Sketching before establishing himself in Paris in the 1920s and 30s, during which time he was dubbed the “King of Wire” for his three-dimensional animal creations. The forms in Calder’s work include organic shapes derived from the natural world, as well as geometric forms, including discs and spheres, many painted in his famous “Calder red,” yellow, and blue. Calder was never fully aligned with any one particular art movement, but achieve immense popularity—which, at times, subjected him to critical rebuke. He left behind a prodigious output upon his passing in 1976, just weeks after the opening of a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art.