Alexander CalderSans titre
Gouache and watercolor on paper
Signed and dated
22.83 x 30.31 in ( 58 x 77,7 cm )
Inquiry - Sans titre, 1947


This work is registred in the archives of the Calder Foundation under the number A23950


Collection of Elma Slade Chess, acquired directly from the artist

Collection of Joanna Cook Chess Bergson, Orleans, Usa, by descent.

Private Collection, Usa

David Zwirner Fine Art, New York

Private Collection, Usa

Artwork's description

After a long period of uncertainty, in 1923 Calder realized that he wanted to become a painter. He entered the Art Student League in New York that same year and, with his comrades, he roamed the streets of the city, looking for patterns. He therefore has the ability to draw in one stroke.

Calder embarked on the production of gouaches after the conflict of the Second World War. His gouaches are not that different from his mobiles, because even if they don't move, you can still feel this movement, although it is imagined. This gouache, which dates from 1947, is one of his first creations, which are rare on the market. The shapes are simple, pure and geometric, placed on a blue and yellow background. The colors are arranged in a solid color, they do not blend with each other but this combination causes a feeling of serenity and harmony. Calder has his own imaginary language, certain symbols recur frequently in his gouaches, such as the sun, the circle, the stars, snakes, etc. One cannot deny by observing this work on paper, the surrealist influence and in particular that of Joan Mirò, that Calder frequented in the first half of the 20th century.

"La Gouacherie", which he later installed in his house in Saché in 1953, testifies to the importance of painting within his artistic creativity.

Artist's biography

Alexander “Sandy” Calder was born in 1898 in Lawnton near Philadelphia and died in 1976 in New York. Calder has long been recognized as a powerfully original American sculptor and painter and a world-renowned artist.

His engineering studies in the United States and the influence exerted by Mondrian led him to create with remarkable plastic sense the "mobiles" which made him famous. The "stabiles" (representing one of his first great achievements with his animated circus model "Le Grand cirque Calder" in 1927, the  "gouaches" to which he later devoted himself, admirably combine fantasy, strength and lightness.

The year 1930 is significant of its turning towards the geometric abstraction, takes birth then, a new form of abstraction where the movement becomes material with whole share.



Alexander Calder - Sans titre, 1947