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ALEXANDER CALDER-nbsp(1898-1976)

 
Alexander Calder executed a surprising number of oil paintings during the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s. By this time, the shock of his 1930 visit to Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed not by the paintings but by the environment, had developed into an artistic language of Calder’s own. So, as Calder was painting The Cross in 1948, he was already on the cusp of international recognition and on his way to winning the XX VI Venice Biennale’s grand prize for sculpture in 1952. Working on his paintings in concert with his sculptural practice, Calder approached both mediums with the same formal language and mastery of shape and color.<br><br>Calder was deeply intrigued by the unseen forces that keep objects in motion. Taking this interest from sculpture to canvas, we see that Calder built a sense of torque within The Cross by shifting its planes and balance. Using these elements, he created implied motion suggesting that the figure is pressing forward or even descending from the skies above. The Cross’s determined momentum is further amplified by details such as the subject’s emphatically outstretched arms, the fist-like curlicue vector on the left, and the silhouetted serpentine figure.<br><br>Calder also adopts a strong thread of poetic abandon throughout The Cross’s surface. It resonates with his good friend Miró’s hieratic and distinctly personal visual language, but it is all Calder in the effective animation of this painting’s various elements. No artist has earned more poetic license than Calder, and throughout his career, the artist remained convivially flexible in his understanding of form and composition. He even welcomed the myriad interpretations of others, writing in 1951, “That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”<br><br>Either way, it is important to remember that The Cross was painted shortly after the upheaval of the Second World War and to some appears to be a sobering reflection of the time. Most of all, The Cross proves that Alexander Calder loaded his brush first to work out ideas about form, structure, relationships in space, and most importantly, movement. Alexander Calder executed a surprising number of oil paintings during the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s. By this time, the shock of his 1930 visit to Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed not by the paintings but by the environment, had developed into an artistic language of Calder’s own. So, as Calder was painting The Cross in 1948, he was already on the cusp of international recognition and on his way to winning the XX VI Venice Biennale’s grand prize for sculpture in 1952. Working on his paintings in concert with his sculptural practice, Calder approached both mediums with the same formal language and mastery of shape and color.<br><br>Calder was deeply intrigued by the unseen forces that keep objects in motion. Taking this interest from sculpture to canvas, we see that Calder built a sense of torque within The Cross by shifting its planes and balance. Using these elements, he created implied motion suggesting that the figure is pressing forward or even descending from the skies above. The Cross’s determined momentum is further amplified by details such as the subject’s emphatically outstretched arms, the fist-like curlicue vector on the left, and the silhouetted serpentine figure.<br><br>Calder also adopts a strong thread of poetic abandon throughout The Cross’s surface. It resonates with his good friend Miró’s hieratic and distinctly personal visual language, but it is all Calder in the effective animation of this painting’s various elements. No artist has earned more poetic license than Calder, and throughout his career, the artist remained convivially flexible in his understanding of form and composition. He even welcomed the myriad interpretations of others, writing in 1951, “That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”<br><br>Either way, it is important to remember that The Cross was painted shortly after the upheaval of the Second World War and to some appears to be a sobering reflection of the time. Most of all, The Cross proves that Alexander Calder loaded his brush first to work out ideas about form, structure, relationships in space, and most importantly, movement. Alexander Calder executed a surprising number of oil paintings during the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s. By this time, the shock of his 1930 visit to Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed not by the paintings but by the environment, had developed into an artistic language of Calder’s own. So, as Calder was painting The Cross in 1948, he was already on the cusp of international recognition and on his way to winning the XX VI Venice Biennale’s grand prize for sculpture in 1952. Working on his paintings in concert with his sculptural practice, Calder approached both mediums with the same formal language and mastery of shape and color.<br><br>Calder was deeply intrigued by the unseen forces that keep objects in motion. Taking this interest from sculpture to canvas, we see that Calder built a sense of torque within The Cross by shifting its planes and balance. Using these elements, he created implied motion suggesting that the figure is pressing forward or even descending from the skies above. The Cross’s determined momentum is further amplified by details such as the subject’s emphatically outstretched arms, the fist-like curlicue vector on the left, and the silhouetted serpentine figure.<br><br>Calder also adopts a strong thread of poetic abandon throughout The Cross’s surface. It resonates with his good friend Miró’s hieratic and distinctly personal visual language, but it is all Calder in the effective animation of this painting’s various elements. No artist has earned more poetic license than Calder, and throughout his career, the artist remained convivially flexible in his understanding of form and composition. He even welcomed the myriad interpretations of others, writing in 1951, “That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”<br><br>Either way, it is important to remember that The Cross was painted shortly after the upheaval of the Second World War and to some appears to be a sobering reflection of the time. Most of all, The Cross proves that Alexander Calder loaded his brush first to work out ideas about form, structure, relationships in space, and most importantly, movement. Alexander Calder executed a surprising number of oil paintings during the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s. By this time, the shock of his 1930 visit to Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed not by the paintings but by the environment, had developed into an artistic language of Calder’s own. So, as Calder was painting The Cross in 1948, he was already on the cusp of international recognition and on his way to winning the XX VI Venice Biennale’s grand prize for sculpture in 1952. Working on his paintings in concert with his sculptural practice, Calder approached both mediums with the same formal language and mastery of shape and color.<br><br>Calder was deeply intrigued by the unseen forces that keep objects in motion. Taking this interest from sculpture to canvas, we see that Calder built a sense of torque within The Cross by shifting its planes and balance. Using these elements, he created implied motion suggesting that the figure is pressing forward or even descending from the skies above. The Cross’s determined momentum is further amplified by details such as the subject’s emphatically outstretched arms, the fist-like curlicue vector on the left, and the silhouetted serpentine figure.<br><br>Calder also adopts a strong thread of poetic abandon throughout The Cross’s surface. It resonates with his good friend Miró’s hieratic and distinctly personal visual language, but it is all Calder in the effective animation of this painting’s various elements. No artist has earned more poetic license than Calder, and throughout his career, the artist remained convivially flexible in his understanding of form and composition. He even welcomed the myriad interpretations of others, writing in 1951, “That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”<br><br>Either way, it is important to remember that The Cross was painted shortly after the upheaval of the Second World War and to some appears to be a sobering reflection of the time. Most of all, The Cross proves that Alexander Calder loaded his brush first to work out ideas about form, structure, relationships in space, and most importantly, movement. Alexander Calder executed a surprising number of oil paintings during the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s. By this time, the shock of his 1930 visit to Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed not by the paintings but by the environment, had developed into an artistic language of Calder’s own. So, as Calder was painting The Cross in 1948, he was already on the cusp of international recognition and on his way to winning the XX VI Venice Biennale’s grand prize for sculpture in 1952. Working on his paintings in concert with his sculptural practice, Calder approached both mediums with the same formal language and mastery of shape and color.<br><br>Calder was deeply intrigued by the unseen forces that keep objects in motion. Taking this interest from sculpture to canvas, we see that Calder built a sense of torque within The Cross by shifting its planes and balance. Using these elements, he created implied motion suggesting that the figure is pressing forward or even descending from the skies above. The Cross’s determined momentum is further amplified by details such as the subject’s emphatically outstretched arms, the fist-like curlicue vector on the left, and the silhouetted serpentine figure.<br><br>Calder also adopts a strong thread of poetic abandon throughout The Cross’s surface. It resonates with his good friend Miró’s hieratic and distinctly personal visual language, but it is all Calder in the effective animation of this painting’s various elements. No artist has earned more poetic license than Calder, and throughout his career, the artist remained convivially flexible in his understanding of form and composition. He even welcomed the myriad interpretations of others, writing in 1951, “That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”<br><br>Either way, it is important to remember that The Cross was painted shortly after the upheaval of the Second World War and to some appears to be a sobering reflection of the time. Most of all, The Cross proves that Alexander Calder loaded his brush first to work out ideas about form, structure, relationships in space, and most importantly, movement. Alexander Calder executed a surprising number of oil paintings during the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s. By this time, the shock of his 1930 visit to Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed not by the paintings but by the environment, had developed into an artistic language of Calder’s own. So, as Calder was painting The Cross in 1948, he was already on the cusp of international recognition and on his way to winning the XX VI Venice Biennale’s grand prize for sculpture in 1952. Working on his paintings in concert with his sculptural practice, Calder approached both mediums with the same formal language and mastery of shape and color.<br><br>Calder was deeply intrigued by the unseen forces that keep objects in motion. Taking this interest from sculpture to canvas, we see that Calder built a sense of torque within The Cross by shifting its planes and balance. Using these elements, he created implied motion suggesting that the figure is pressing forward or even descending from the skies above. The Cross’s determined momentum is further amplified by details such as the subject’s emphatically outstretched arms, the fist-like curlicue vector on the left, and the silhouetted serpentine figure.<br><br>Calder also adopts a strong thread of poetic abandon throughout The Cross’s surface. It resonates with his good friend Miró’s hieratic and distinctly personal visual language, but it is all Calder in the effective animation of this painting’s various elements. No artist has earned more poetic license than Calder, and throughout his career, the artist remained convivially flexible in his understanding of form and composition. He even welcomed the myriad interpretations of others, writing in 1951, “That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”<br><br>Either way, it is important to remember that The Cross was painted shortly after the upheaval of the Second World War and to some appears to be a sobering reflection of the time. Most of all, The Cross proves that Alexander Calder loaded his brush first to work out ideas about form, structure, relationships in space, and most importantly, movement. Alexander Calder executed a surprising number of oil paintings during the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s. By this time, the shock of his 1930 visit to Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed not by the paintings but by the environment, had developed into an artistic language of Calder’s own. So, as Calder was painting The Cross in 1948, he was already on the cusp of international recognition and on his way to winning the XX VI Venice Biennale’s grand prize for sculpture in 1952. Working on his paintings in concert with his sculptural practice, Calder approached both mediums with the same formal language and mastery of shape and color.<br><br>Calder was deeply intrigued by the unseen forces that keep objects in motion. Taking this interest from sculpture to canvas, we see that Calder built a sense of torque within The Cross by shifting its planes and balance. Using these elements, he created implied motion suggesting that the figure is pressing forward or even descending from the skies above. The Cross’s determined momentum is further amplified by details such as the subject’s emphatically outstretched arms, the fist-like curlicue vector on the left, and the silhouetted serpentine figure.<br><br>Calder also adopts a strong thread of poetic abandon throughout The Cross’s surface. It resonates with his good friend Miró’s hieratic and distinctly personal visual language, but it is all Calder in the effective animation of this painting’s various elements. No artist has earned more poetic license than Calder, and throughout his career, the artist remained convivially flexible in his understanding of form and composition. He even welcomed the myriad interpretations of others, writing in 1951, “That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”<br><br>Either way, it is important to remember that The Cross was painted shortly after the upheaval of the Second World War and to some appears to be a sobering reflection of the time. Most of all, The Cross proves that Alexander Calder loaded his brush first to work out ideas about form, structure, relationships in space, and most importantly, movement. Alexander Calder executed a surprising number of oil paintings during the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s. By this time, the shock of his 1930 visit to Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed not by the paintings but by the environment, had developed into an artistic language of Calder’s own. So, as Calder was painting The Cross in 1948, he was already on the cusp of international recognition and on his way to winning the XX VI Venice Biennale’s grand prize for sculpture in 1952. Working on his paintings in concert with his sculptural practice, Calder approached both mediums with the same formal language and mastery of shape and color.<br><br>Calder was deeply intrigued by the unseen forces that keep objects in motion. Taking this interest from sculpture to canvas, we see that Calder built a sense of torque within The Cross by shifting its planes and balance. Using these elements, he created implied motion suggesting that the figure is pressing forward or even descending from the skies above. The Cross’s determined momentum is further amplified by details such as the subject’s emphatically outstretched arms, the fist-like curlicue vector on the left, and the silhouetted serpentine figure.<br><br>Calder also adopts a strong thread of poetic abandon throughout The Cross’s surface. It resonates with his good friend Miró’s hieratic and distinctly personal visual language, but it is all Calder in the effective animation of this painting’s various elements. No artist has earned more poetic license than Calder, and throughout his career, the artist remained convivially flexible in his understanding of form and composition. He even welcomed the myriad interpretations of others, writing in 1951, “That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”<br><br>Either way, it is important to remember that The Cross was painted shortly after the upheaval of the Second World War and to some appears to be a sobering reflection of the time. Most of all, The Cross proves that Alexander Calder loaded his brush first to work out ideas about form, structure, relationships in space, and most importantly, movement. Alexander Calder executed a surprising number of oil paintings during the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s. By this time, the shock of his 1930 visit to Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed not by the paintings but by the environment, had developed into an artistic language of Calder’s own. So, as Calder was painting The Cross in 1948, he was already on the cusp of international recognition and on his way to winning the XX VI Venice Biennale’s grand prize for sculpture in 1952. Working on his paintings in concert with his sculptural practice, Calder approached both mediums with the same formal language and mastery of shape and color.<br><br>Calder was deeply intrigued by the unseen forces that keep objects in motion. Taking this interest from sculpture to canvas, we see that Calder built a sense of torque within The Cross by shifting its planes and balance. Using these elements, he created implied motion suggesting that the figure is pressing forward or even descending from the skies above. The Cross’s determined momentum is further amplified by details such as the subject’s emphatically outstretched arms, the fist-like curlicue vector on the left, and the silhouetted serpentine figure.<br><br>Calder also adopts a strong thread of poetic abandon throughout The Cross’s surface. It resonates with his good friend Miró’s hieratic and distinctly personal visual language, but it is all Calder in the effective animation of this painting’s various elements. No artist has earned more poetic license than Calder, and throughout his career, the artist remained convivially flexible in his understanding of form and composition. He even welcomed the myriad interpretations of others, writing in 1951, “That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”<br><br>Either way, it is important to remember that The Cross was painted shortly after the upheaval of the Second World War and to some appears to be a sobering reflection of the time. Most of all, The Cross proves that Alexander Calder loaded his brush first to work out ideas about form, structure, relationships in space, and most importantly, movement. Alexander Calder executed a surprising number of oil paintings during the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s. By this time, the shock of his 1930 visit to Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed not by the paintings but by the environment, had developed into an artistic language of Calder’s own. So, as Calder was painting The Cross in 1948, he was already on the cusp of international recognition and on his way to winning the XX VI Venice Biennale’s grand prize for sculpture in 1952. Working on his paintings in concert with his sculptural practice, Calder approached both mediums with the same formal language and mastery of shape and color.<br><br>Calder was deeply intrigued by the unseen forces that keep objects in motion. Taking this interest from sculpture to canvas, we see that Calder built a sense of torque within The Cross by shifting its planes and balance. Using these elements, he created implied motion suggesting that the figure is pressing forward or even descending from the skies above. The Cross’s determined momentum is further amplified by details such as the subject’s emphatically outstretched arms, the fist-like curlicue vector on the left, and the silhouetted serpentine figure.<br><br>Calder also adopts a strong thread of poetic abandon throughout The Cross’s surface. It resonates with his good friend Miró’s hieratic and distinctly personal visual language, but it is all Calder in the effective animation of this painting’s various elements. No artist has earned more poetic license than Calder, and throughout his career, the artist remained convivially flexible in his understanding of form and composition. He even welcomed the myriad interpretations of others, writing in 1951, “That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”<br><br>Either way, it is important to remember that The Cross was painted shortly after the upheaval of the Second World War and to some appears to be a sobering reflection of the time. Most of all, The Cross proves that Alexander Calder loaded his brush first to work out ideas about form, structure, relationships in space, and most importantly, movement.
La Croix194828 3/4 x 36 1/4 in.(73,03 x 92,08 cm) huile sur toile
Provenance
Galerie Perls, New York
Collection privée, acquise auprès des personnes susmentionnées
Exposition
Crane Gallery, Londres, Calder : Huiles, Gouaches, Mobiles et Tapisseries, 5 mars-1er mai 1992
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"Pour moi, la chose la plus importante dans la composition est la disparité." - Alexander Calder

Histoire

Alexander Calder a exécuté un nombre surprenant de peintures à l'huile au cours de la seconde moitié des années 1940 et au début des années 1950. À cette époque, le choc de sa visite en 1930 dans l'atelier de Mondrian, où il avait été impressionné non par les peintures mais par l'environnement, s'était transformé en un langage artistique propre à Calder. Ainsi, alors que Calder peint La Croix en 1948, il est déjà sur le point d'obtenir une reconnaissance internationale et de remporter le grand prix de sculpture de la XX VIe Biennale de Venise en 1952. Travaillant sur ses peintures de concert avec sa pratique de la sculpture, Calder aborde les deux médiums avec le même langage formel et la même maîtrise de la forme et de la couleur.

Calder était profondément intrigué par les forces invisibles qui maintiennent les objets en mouvement. Transposant cet intérêt de la sculpture à la toile, nous constatons que Calder a créé une sensation de couple dans La Croix en déplaçant ses plans et son équilibre. À l'aide de ces éléments, il a créé un mouvement implicite suggérant que la figure pousse vers l'avant ou même qu'elle descend des cieux. L'élan déterminé de La Croixest encore amplifié par des détails tels que les bras tendus du sujet, le vecteur courbe en forme de poing sur la gauche et la silhouette serpentine.

Calder adopte également un fort fil d'abandon poétique sur toute la surface de La Croix. Cela fait écho au langage visuel hiératique et nettement personnel de son bon ami Miró, mais c'est tout Calder dans l'animation efficace des différents éléments de ce tableau. Aucun artiste n'a gagné plus de licence poétique que Calder, et tout au long de sa carrière, l'artiste est resté convivialement flexible dans sa compréhension de la forme et de la composition. Il a même accueilli favorablement les myriades d'interprétations des autres, écrivant en 1951 : "Que d'autres saisissent ce que j'ai à l'esprit ne semble pas essentiel, du moins tant qu'ils ont autre chose dans le leur."

Quoi qu'il en soit, il est important de se rappeler que La Croix a été peinte peu après les bouleversements de la Seconde Guerre mondiale et que, pour certains, elle apparaît comme un reflet sobre de l'époque. Par-dessus tout, La Croix prouve qu'Alexander Calder a d'abord pris son pinceau pour élaborer des idées sur la forme, la structure, les relations dans l'espace et, surtout, le mouvement.

  • Sculptures en plâtre, studio de Roxbury, c. 1948

    Sculptures en plâtre, studio de Roxbury, c. 1948

    Fondation Calder, New York
  • Calder avec Jackson Pollock, East Hampton, c. 1948

    Photographie d'Herbert Matter © Fondation Calder, New York
  • Calder, "La grande oreille", 1943

    Calder, "La grande oreille", 1943

    Installé à l'extérieur du pavillon américain à la vingt-sixième Biennale de Venise, 1952
"Le sens du mouvement en peinture et en sculpture a longtemps été considéré comme l'un des éléments primaires de la composition." - Alexander Calder

LES CONNAISSANCES DU MARCHÉ

  • Le graphique réalisé par Art Market Research, basé à Londres, montre que depuis janvier 1976, la valeur des œuvres de Calder a augmenté de 3474,3 %, soit un taux de croissance annuel composé de 7,6. 
  • Si Calder était un artiste prolifique, les peintures à l'huile sur toile comme La Croix comptent parmi les exemples les plus rares de l'œuvre de l'artiste.

Tableaux comparables vendus aux enchères

Huile sur toile, 48 x 45 in. Vendue chez Sotheby's New York : 11 novembre 2014.© 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

"Personnage" (1946) vendu pour 1 865 000 USD.

Huile sur toile, 48 x 45 in. Vendue chez Sotheby's New York le 11 novembre 2014. © 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Peint deux ans avant La Croix
  • Couleurs similaires, mais l'abstraction dans The Cross est plus réaliste.
  • Vendue aux enchères en 2014, cette peinture vaudrait bien plus de 3 millions de dollars aujourd'hui.
Huile sur toile, 48 x 60 in. Vendue chez Sotheby's New York : 14 novembre 2018.© 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

"Fond rouge" (1949) vendu pour 1 815 000 USD.

Huile sur toile, 48 x 60 in. Vendue chez Sotheby's New York le 14 novembre 2018. © 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Peint juste un an après La Croix
  • Une belle abstraction, mais une composition moins intéressante que celle de La Croix.
  • Le fond ici n'est qu'une seule couleur, tandis que la Croix équilibre plusieurs teintes dans son fond.

Peintures similaires dans les collections de musées

Galerie d'art de l'université de Yale

Surveyor's Instruments (1955), huile sur toile, 24 x 18 in. © 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Musée d'art moderne de San Francisco

Spirale et hélice (1956), huile sur toile, 17 7/8 x 26 1/8 in. © 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Musée national de la coopération franco-américaine, Blérancourt, France

Sans titre (1930), huile sur toile, 32 x 26 in. © 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
"Si vous pouvez imaginer une chose, la faire apparaître dans l'espace - alors vous pouvez la fabriquer... L'univers est réel mais vous ne pouvez pas le voir. Il faut l'imaginer. Une fois que vous l'avez imaginé, vous pouvez être réaliste en le reproduisant." - Alexander Calder

Galerie d'images

Ressources supplémentaires

Galerie de la tour de la National Gallery of Art

Découvrez la plus grande exposition permanente au monde d'œuvres de Calder dans l'East Building de la National Gallery of Art.

Calder autour du monde

Utilisez la carte interactive de la Fondation Calder pour explorer le monde à travers l'art de Calder.

Œuvres de Calder

Voyez Calder au travail dans ce film de 1950 produit par New World Film Productions pour le Museum of Modern Art.

Alexander Calder : Harmonie dissonante

Découvrez l'exposition du SFMOMA consacrée aux œuvres de Calder, qui se tiendra jusqu'en mai 2023.
© 2023 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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