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Tres Puntos Blancos sobre Rojo, Amarillo y Azul
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About the object

Demonstrating precision and balance in movement, Alexander Calders Tres Puntos Blancos sobre Rojo, Amarillo y Azul (Three White Dots on Red, Yellow and Blue) features a constellation of three white metal discs that are delicately suspended in space. The present work is beautiful in its simple minimalism white discs poised atop a bold red, yellow and blue base yet also unprecedented in its ingenious structural composition, making this piece one of the most classic, striking, and elegant expressions of Calder's internationally famous mobiles. Through the delicate yet muscular pyramidal base upon which the elegant mobile balances this work explores equilibrium and movement through the medium of hand-wrought metal. By 1955, Calder was in the prime of his career and this work possesses all the fluency and dynamism that had seen the artist win the grand prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale only two years previously. Although it was Marcel Duchamp who first called these works mobiles in 1931, Calder took his chief inspiration from the paintings of Piet Mondrian, whose work he had become intimately familiar with on a studio visit in 1930. Drawn to the bold blocks of colour, the blank white spaces and the punctuating linear cords that linked them, Calder assimilated Mondrian's painterly elements and re-imagined them as three dimensional structures that could move of their own accord. In the present work, red, yellow and blue elements comprise the base which is orbited by roundels of white linked, as with Mondrian, by thick dark cords.\n1955 was to become a landmark year for Calder. It witnessed the artists burgeoning international recognition with an extensive travel itinerary that included Athens, Cairo, Paris, Beirut, Nepal, Delhi, and Bombay. Significantly, it was also in this year that Calder travelled to Caracas and set up a studio at the metal shop of the Universidad Central de Venezuela. It was here that the present work came into being, which accounts for the linguistic turn in its title. It was also here that Calder would work with the architect Carlos Villanueva with whom he designed the breath-taking sculptural ceiling of the university auditorium, entitled Floating Clouds. This architectural collaboration is reflected in the orbiting white elements of Tres Puntos Blancos sobre Rojo, Amarillo y Azul. \nAs a hallmark of this important period, this standing mobile evinces Calders dedication to the pure geometry of the circle and celebrates the modernist origins of his pioneering sculpture. It is a piece in perfect equilibrium, from the unshakable solidity of its tri-pronged base to the delicate reach of its pinnacle disc.\n\nThis work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York under application number A09330.
GB
GB
GB

medium

Painted metal, wire and brass

creator

Calder, Alexander

dimensions

22.9 by 33 by 14cm.

exhibition

Caracas, Museo de Bellas Artes, Exposición Calder, 1955, no. 48  Caracas, Sala de Exposiciones Fundación Eugenio Mendoza, Calder en Venezuela, 1969, no. 35, illustrated in the catalogue

provenance

Alejandro Otero, Caracas (acquired from the artist in 1955. Sold: Christie’s, Los Angeles, 14th October 1998, lot 15) Private Collection, Germany (sold: Sotheby’s, London, 17th October 2014, lot 18) Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

artist_range_end

1976

artist_range_start

1898

creator_nationality_dates

1898 - 1976


*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.

*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.


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