Signed, on red horizontal plate: CA. [Signed by Calder some years after the piece was created, probably in the late 1960's or early 1970's, when the piece was sent to either the Perls Gallery or the Pace Gallery.]
The organic shapes of this mobile float freely from suspending wires, creating a bold display of primary colors in perpetual motion as the carefully balanced forms are stirred by invisible air currents. A fastidious craftsman, Calder shaped his materials entirely by hand, with the manual emphasis contributing to the sculpture’s biomorphic form. Size, color, space, and movement continually recombine in shifting, random relationships that produce a visual parallel to the harmony and unpredictability of nature.
As direct and unassuming as Calder’s mobiles are, they occupy a key position in the evolution of modern art. For artists dating back at least to Cézanne, the expression of time (duration, permanence) had proved a vexing goal. Cubism, to a large extent, can be seen as an attempt to harness the passage of time within a static composition. Calder found an entirely satisfying solution with his mobiles, which draw changing shapes in space through time in perpetuity. In this way, he was the consummate modernist theoretician—while in reality, he preferred simply to keep making objects of delight and wonder.
From the 2019 exhibition The Expanding Universe of Postwar Art, curated by John R. Stomberg Ph.D, Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s Director
Churchill P. Lathrop Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, August 8, 2000-September 26, 2001.
Churchill P. Lathrop Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, January 11, 2001-August 12, 2002.
Modern and Contemporary Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 26,2009-March 15, 2010.
On loan to the Museum of Fine Arts, Rochester, New York, 1955-1957 (not for a specific exhibition).
The Expanding Universe of Postwar Art, Northeast Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26-December 1, 2019.
Virtual Space for Dialogue, 2017, In Relationship: Finding Balance in Modern American Sculpture, Madeline Thompson, Class of 2017, Kathyrn Conroy Programing Intern, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. https://www.mthompson.vsfd.hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu/
Sharon Reed, Hood Museum acquires mobile created by the art form's inventor, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, Vox of Dartmouth, September 18, 2000, ill. p. 7
Brian P. Kennedy and Emily Shubert Burke, Modern and Contemporary Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2009, p.91, no.65.
John R. Stomberg, The Hood Now: Art and Inquiry at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2019, p. 167, ill. plate no. 98.
Curt Valentin (donor's uncle and owner of the Curt Valentin Gallery, New York); given to Nancy (Eleanor) Heffernan Valtin and Dr. Heinz Valtin, June 1953 (as wedding gift); partial gift/purchase to present collection, 1998.
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