These works are registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York, under application number A17609.
Composed of four gouaches, the present lot demonstrates Alexander Calder's most iconic themes on paper. The red, blue, orange, yellow and black color palette in combination with his simple and graphic motifs of the circle, triangle and half-moon are Calder's most sophisticated and refined two dimensional themes. The four gouaches on paper that compose the present lot were cartoons a series of eight banners ranging from 18 to 28 feet in length commissioned by Jack Wolgin for the Centre Square in Philadelphia. Concurrently to their execution, Jack Wolgin, an enthusiastic contemporary art collector, also commissioned large scale public works for his development by Claes Oldenburg and Jean Dubuffet, both of which still stand in Philadelphia. The continued installation of these monumental works highlights the city's close relationship with prominent Post-War artists. The four cartoons of the present lot remained in his private collection until the 1990s
Alexander Calder's banners of 1975 are the artist's largest non-sculptural public works. Lost for over 20 years, the Alexander Calder banners were found and refitted in 2009 in the Philadelphia Free Library main lobby to much fanfare. Due to the size of the banners, only the four smallest were able to be incorporated into the space. The four cartoons of the present lot pull from Alexander Calder's exhaustive vocabulary of gouaches and reflect his favorite of those themes. The crescent moon panel in particular is directly reflected in the banner hanging in the frontal right area of the lobby of the Philadelphia Free Library and demonstrate how closely Calder drew from his gouaches in the designing and execution of the banners. The eight examples in Philadelphia are the only banners which the artist ever designed and are an important and lasting legacy of the artist in his hometown of Philadelphia.