Alexander Calder (1898-1976)
Alexander Calder (1898-1976)

4 Planes in Space (maquette)

Alexander Calder (1898-1976)
4 Planes in Space (maquette)
signed with the artist’s monogram ‘CA’ (on the lowest element)
stabile–sheet metal, wire and paint
27 1/2 x 15 x 21 in. (69.8 x 38.1 x 53.3 cm.)
Executed in 1955.
Perls Galleries, New York
Philip and Lynn Strauss, New York, 1968
Their sale; Christie's, New York, 8 May 1997, lot 112
Private collection, Atlanta, 1997
Kevin Bruk Gallery, Miami
Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, New York, 2005
His sale; Christie's, New York, 16 November 2006, lot 197
Private collection
Private collection
Acquired from the above by the present owner
American Abstract Art Association, The World of Abstract Art, New York, 1957, p. 68 (illustrated).
New York, Curt Valentin Gallery, Alexander Calder, May-June 1955, no. 16.
Los Angeles, L&M Arts, Alexander Calder, April-June 2012.

Brought to you by

Joanna Szymkowiak
Joanna Szymkowiak

Lot Essay

This work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York, under application number A03147.

Four Planes in Space exemplifies Calder’s skillful mastery of his materials, which he has transformed into one simplified elegant form. With his traditional polychromatic palette muted, the black metal forms are ever more characteristic of a central part of Calder’s practice, unerringly fluid as they dramatically cut through the surrounding space. The lines and contours of the piece act as a sort of three-dimensional drawing, and yet as the viewer moves to observe the piece from all sides, so the stationary work also appears to move. These black metal planes, rise gracefully upwards, away from their balanced wire supports; they twist organically, as if floating in space. The dynamism of Calder’s work, built out of the artist’s fascination with new forms, becomes tangible, proof of the artist’s control over his medium, and an understanding of the complexities of perception.

Four Planes in Space was produced at the height of the artist’s career, a time that saw the creation of some of his most significant large-scale and public works. It was Calder’s work of this time that lead to his recognition as one of the most innovative and reputable artists of his generation.

Calder’s career has had a significant impact upon the trajectory of the medium of sculpture, pushing the boundaries associated with the process of construction and limitations of space. No longer centrally composed and characterized by its relation to the earth, his practice conceived of a dynamic sculptural medium that moves through space. Calder’s revolutionary practice has allowed for generations of artists after him to freely pursue new methods and materials, beyond the boundaries of tradition, ensuring his works stand as emblems of a contemporary art form.

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