This work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York, under application number A07606.
The idea of playfulness in abstract sculpture, born out of the humor that Klee and Miro brought to modern painting, is one of Calder's most significant contributions to modern art. Combining biomorphic shapes and planar elements with simple wire constructions, Calder helped liberate sculpture from its fixed pedestal setting.
Yet, humor often belies its own complexity. Calder's art is the creation of an instrument that can only be played by the genius of wind, chance, light, vibration, and gravity. In Fleur Jaune, the evolution of Calder's mobiles is exemplified by the potential for movement which has become increasingly complex. Elements can move up and down as well as around to form infinitely varied patterns in space. The shapes and sizes of the elements vary and morph even more when in motion and seen from various angles. Most of the black and red forms invoke leaf shapes, which surround the white "buds" and the yellow flower of the mobile's name. The result is a stunning bouquet of bold abstraction and delicate movement. The viewer's eyes dance to the rhythm of the red, black, white and yellow.
"What is a Calder? A Calder is a sort of chandelier which hangs, like all chandeliers, from the ceiling, but which, unlike other chandeliers, does not hold lighting equipment, but serves as a perch for our reveries. A Calder is an iron-web, a 'swan', a sign which has become a trademark, a feather in the wind, a sculpture that moves" (M. Rago, "What is a Calder," Derriere Le Miroir, 1963).
The poet Jacques Prevert described Calder's magic in six words: "He gives pleasure, that's his secret" (J. Lipman, Calder's Universe, New York, 1976, p. 41). In his mobiles, Calder reveals another secret: that every time we look at a Calder mobile we see it anew for it is never as it was and never as it will be.