This carefully crafted Untitled gold bracelet not only exemplifies Alexander Calder’s unprecedented vision for jewelry, but is also among his most exceptional designs for women. Internationally known as an artistic vanguard whose wire sculpture surpassed all contemporaneous boundaries, Calder brought the same radical ingenuity to his jewelry as he did to the delicate structural balance of his famous mobiles.
A third-generation sculptor and son to a painter, Calder’s family fostered his precocious creativity from the time he was a child. He often played with remnants of wire that were found around his home, and soon began creating toys, figurines and impressive wire jewelry for his older sister’s dolls. While a Philadelphia native who studied under John Sloan at the Arts Students League, Calder is often considered to be a Parisian because of his many years spent living in Europe’s art epicenter. Calder’s initial profession was that of a mechanical engineer, which provided an indispensable design knowledge to his inventions and scrupulously detailed approach inherent in the structural intricacies of his pieces.
During the late 1930s, Calder began working in lost wax casting, and maturely designing necklaces, earrings and other types of jewelry. The keen handling of fine metals for which Calder is acclaimed resounds in his stunning mastery of the bracelet’s gold wire. Seamlessly sculpted to softly wind around a woman’s wrist, Calder was as ergonomically attentive to the subtle curves and graceful lines of this piece as he was to the atmospheric forces that propel his mobiles. Calder’s creative process involved a constant awareness of any element that may impact the final outcome of his work, including the graceful compliments of the female form. This work is a refined investigation into form and function, showcasing his passion for flawless execution which never faltered regardless of the task.
During the 1940s, Calder saw both professional recognition and creative growth. Not only would he receive his first solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, but his stabiles were also requested for production on a monumental scale. This was the same moment in which he expanded his oeuvre to include a breathtaking collection of wearable artworks for both men and women. Calder was never bound to any particular style or medium. The outstanding level of consideration and engineering that he put into the environmental compatibility of his stabiles with their surrounding architecture, was also put into every elegant detail of this bracelet. Calder’s jewelry gives new life to a place where fashion meets art. His work effortlessly navigates the delicate landscape of women’s wear, sculpture and gifted design. His Untitled gold bracelet defines this, showing sleek and modern sophistication—graceful in its timeless elegance.