Sale: 415 / Modern Art, June 06. 2014 in Munich Lot 208

 
208
Alexander Calder
Ohne Titel, Um 1940.
Estimate:
€ 60,000 / $ 68,400
Sold:
€ 93,940 / $ 107.091

(incl. 22% surcharge)
Lot description
Ohne Titel. Um 1940.
Brooch. Silver- and steel wire with ceramic fragment.
Unique piece. Diameter: Ca. 9,5 cm (3,7 in).
[JS].
Calder's filigree jewelry creations count among the most sought-after modernist design objects on the international auction market.

Other than specified in the catalog, this lot number may also be subject to differential taxation + 7% import turnover tax (savings of 5% in comparison with regular taxation).
The work is registered in the archive of the Calder Foundation, New York, under the number "A 16891".

PROVENANCE: Perls Galleries, New York.
Private collection.

Alexander Calder counts among the most distinguished US-American artist of the 20th century. He grew up in an artistic environment – his father was a sculptor and his mother a painter, however, their son initially decided to study engineering, earning his diploma in 1919. In 1923 Calder joined the New York Art Students League and took lessons in drawing. In 1925 Calder made his first steel wire sculptures, which would decisively coin his further course in art. Additionally, he made drawings that he showed together with his paintings in his first exhibition at The Artists Gallery in New York in 1926. The same year Calder began to work on his legendary "Cirque Calder", a permanently growing compilation of mechanic toys made of steel wire, rubber, leather and wood. Gradually, a complete miniature circus came into existence. At first he showed it only to a few select friends, but soon he called great attention with public presentations. After Calder had lived and successfully worked in Paris in 1926, with several acknowledged gallery shows, he again moved to the bustling art metropolis in 1930. The contact with Marcel Duchamp and Hans Arp was especially influential on Calder's artistic development. Duchamp named Alexander Calder's motor-driven, chattering sculptures "Mobiles", while Arp conceived the term "Stabiles" for the unmotorized objects a little later. It showed that both “Mobile“ and “Stabile“ would become core elements and essence of Calder's art. Calder himself increased the meaning of the term "Mobile" in the early 1940s, because he did not only refer to electric or mechanic impetuses, but any kind, including natural ones such as wind. In 1937 he eventually made "Whale" the first sculpture with which we associate the term "Stabile", for it is constructed of massive, immobile, black steel plates.

"I [..] wore one of my Tanguy earrings, and one made by Calder, in order to show my impartiality between Surrealist and abstract art." (Peggy Guggenheim)
It was not only the famous American collector Peggy Guggenheim who used Alexander Calder's remarkable jewelry designs in order to emphasize her love for art and eccentric personality. Alexander Calder presumably made his first piece, a necklace, for a friend, the French painter Chantal Quenneville, during a sojourn in Berlin in April 1929. At the end of the 1930s Calder eventually made jewelry an integral part of his art and made several pieces for an exhibition at Willard Gallery, New York. Each of Calder's pieces of jewelry, initially made of steel sheet and later, as it is the case with this one, of precious metal, is a unique hand-made work of high artistic value. These works were often intended as gifts for friends and relatives of the artist, such as a ring for his fiancee Louisa James, which, just like this brooch, carries a spiral as decorative element. Derived from early steel wire sculptures by the artist, the spiral would henceforth also characterize Calder's jewelry. From an early point on Calder began to integrate found objects like unpolished stones, glass-, mirror- and porcelain shards into his fragile creations, this way he merged the past and Modernism and formed a new artistic unity. Calder's jewelry works occupy a central role in his oeuvre, because he took his poise in making metal objects and continued it on a miniature level. The artist developed a completely new and extensive repertoire of forms, which comprises elements from archaic Christian art, the art of the Navajos and African tribal art.

In 1946 he went on his first trip to France after the war, in 1954 he settled in France for good again. In 1964/65 the New York Guggenheim Museum and the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris showed a retrospective. Additionally, Calder time and again made stage designs, mostly for theatersin Paris. He received numerous awards, for example the Grand Prize for Sculpting at the Venice Biennale or the Carnegie Prize in Pittsburgh. In November 1976 Alexander Calder died in New York. Works by Calder are in possession of renowned international collections, such as the Tate Collection London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York or the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen near Basel, which recently began to show works by the artist in cooperation with the Calder Foundation in the so-called "Calder Gallery".

208
Alexander Calder
Ohne Titel, Um 1940.
Estimate:
€ 60,000 / $ 68,400
Sold:
€ 93,940 / $ 107.091

(incl. 22% surcharge)