“Alexander Calder”

Sale of the Leslie Waddington collection

At Christie’s in London, on 4 October, 100 % of the Leslie Waddington collection was sold, and 80 % of lots went for over their high estimates. The sale reaped a total of £28,285,525. With these results, the sale pays fine homage to a pioneering contemporary-art collector and dealer. Bids came from 37 countries. Robert Motherwell’s Spanish Elegy was sold for the sum of £905,000, well above its high estimate of £300,000. The top lot of the evening was a work by Jean Dubuffet, Visiteur au chapeau bleu (1955), which went for £4,813,000. Of note is a world record set by the sale of Las Meninas by Michael Craig-Martin, pushed up to £149,000. The painting on paper, Lampe, by Francis Picabia, was sold for £3,637,000, thus doubling its high estimate. The sale also notched up fine scores for works by Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Milton Avery and Agnes...

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Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery to present a selling exhibition dedicated to Alexander Calder

Sotheby’s S |2 will be presenting “Alexander Calder: Imagining the Universe”, a selling exhibition at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery from 12 to 15 September 2015. This exhibition is showing Calder’s ground breaking and ingenious body of work. He is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, known for his sculptures and gouaches. His kinetic mobile sculptures and delicate wire figures were his most popular creations. These creations will be on show as well as standing mobiles, jewelry, bronzes, and works on paper. Gallery Director at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery, Clare Cosman says of the event: “We are honoured to bring to Hong Kong this […] array of important works by one of the 20th century’s great creators […] these pieces offer a rare opportunity to engage with Calder’s work, created throughout his prolific and enduring career.” S |2 is the private sale and gallery section of the Contemporary Art department. Alexander Calder was born in Lawnton, Pennsylvania in 1898. As a young child he made toys and jewelry for his sister’s dolls. Calder had his start in the art world in his twenties when he joined the Art Students League in New York where he studies painting and drawing. He also worked for the National Police Gazette where his assignments sketching the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, which would reappear in his later works, such as Cirque Calder. Influenced by abstraction, Calder analysed movement and space as his subject matter. Calder died in New York in...

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Christie’s to sell Arthur and Anita Kahn collection

Christie’s has announced that it will begin selling the Arthur and Anita Kahn collection from November 2015 in New York, Paris and London. Over nearly fifty years the New York dentist Arthur Kahn and his wife Anita built up a sizeable collection from which Christie’s will sell 400 works with an estimated value of $50 million. Amongst the lots will be 80 works by the American artist and friend of the Kahn’s, Alexander Calder. Bidders will have the opportunity to acquire pieces such as Tanktotem VIII (1960) by the abstract expressionist David Smith and Blood Wedding (1958) by Richard Pousette-Dart, as well as works by Fernand Léger. The Kahn’s apartment in Manhattan was famous for being so crammed with works of art that friends could not guess the extent of their collection. Paul R. Provost, the Deputy Chairman of Christie’s Americas remembered it thus, ““For years and years, I went by that apartment and I never knew what was up there.” The auction house will exhibit the works at the Rockefeller Center until 28 August before splitting them up in preparation for the evening sales in New York in...

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Late Calder masterpiece to be auctioned by Los Angeles Modern Auction

On 17 May 2014, the American auction house Los Angeles Modern Auction (LAMA) is to offer one of the last masterworks from the career of the sculptor Alexander Calder (1898-1976), as part of a sale of Modern art and design. Lot 167 of the sale, Quatre Blancs, was created by Calder in 1976, and is estimated at between $500,000 and $700,000.  This is the first time the mobile is to go to auction since its purchase by its original owner from Maeght gallery in 1978. The artist created the piece for his exhibition at the gallery in 1976, which took place a few months after his death. “The substantial size, the simple construction, the elegant balance, and the primary colors – Quatre Blancs shows Calder’s masterful ability to distill his life’s work into a simple gesture”, explained Peter Loughrey, director of fine art and design at LAMA. Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) is today one of the most important auction houses in the field of Modern and Contemporary art, and was the first auction house to specialise in selling 20th century Modern art and...

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Alexander Calder, Untitled (circa 1947) – sold €1,609,500 Sotheby’s Paris

The second lot on offer at the 3 December 2014 Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale is another mobile by Alexander Calder, made from metal and painted iron and measuring slightly larger than the previous lot (86 x 71 cm). It also carries a larger estimate at between €800,000 and €1,200,000. The piece has sold for €1,350,000 hammer price, (€1,609,500 including buyer’s premium) following 14 bids, to a bidder in the room. The mobile was executed circa 1947 and is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation in New York. It was acquired directly from the artist before being passed down to its previous owner. This mobile is especially representative of the artist’s unusual abstract style and can be considered an archetypal example of Alexander Calder’s work. Born in 1898 in Pennsylvania and who died in 1976 in New York, Alexander Calder studied engineering and then painting at the Arts Students’ League in New York. Fascinated by the circus, in 1926 he created the Cirque Calder, made from wire-netting figures, in which the artist plays the role of puppeteer. In 1931 he joined the Abstraction-Creation group, which brought together Peit Mondrain, Hans Arp, Robert Delaunay and Jean Hélion, and started to create wire mobiles. Arturning to the United States in 1933, Calder was met with great success. The artist received the top prize at the Venice Biennale in 1951, and from then on began to concentrate on creating large-scale sculptures, in 1958 creating La Spriale, for UNESCO’s building in Paris. The Guggenheim in New York also organised an important retrospective dedicated to the artist in...

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