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After Alexander Calder (American, 1898–1976)
LOT ID: 79967
Hammock, 1975

Tapestries, handwoven fiber hammock
45 х 131 in. (114.3 x 332.74 cm.)
Unsigned, Artist tag "Content: 100% cotton manila; Name: Hammock, soft sculpture; Edition no.: 24/100; Original design by: Alexander Calder; Date: 1975; Made in: Nicaragua; CAC Publication, N.Y.C."
Print/Casting Year 1975
Edition 24/100
Lot description
Long impressed by the work of Central American artisans, in 1975 Calder designed a set of 10 tapestries, fashioned after his own paintings, which were executed by Nicaraguan weavers. Always a political activist and humanitarian, Calder wanted the proceeds of the sales of these works to benefit earthquake victims in Central America. Employing special European dyes to match Calder's signature palette of bold, primary hues, the artisans used teams of weavers and hundreds of needles to complete the project. The tapestries feature the flowing, natural motifs and whimsical circus imagery, spiraling nautilus shells, undulating snakes, a trapeze performer that are the hallmarks of Calder's best graphic work. Calder was so pleased with the wall hangings and tapestries that he acquired several for his own home and studio.

The name Alexander Calder (1898-1976) has grown synonymous with twentieth century abstract art. Calder studied at the Stevens Institute of Technology and later at the Art Students League in New York, later continuing his education at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. His first artistic focus was that of the circus, a recurring theme throughout his oeuvre, which inspired much of his early work and small wire-based sculptures. He gained international acclaim for his mobiles, a term coined by artist Marcel Duchamp, which consisted of a poetic balance of forms put in motion by the slightest breeze. Calder went on to create what Jean Arp termed “stabiles”, or partly monumental and stationary constructions of sheet metal. Calder’s works, including his mobiles, stabiles, drawings, and prints, have been exhibited worldwide, in recent times at the Pace Gallery, New York, NY (2012); Gagosian gallery, London, England (2011); and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC (2011).

Selected Public Collections:
The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY)
Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
Whitney Museum of Art (New York, NY)
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC)
The National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC)
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Hammock by Alexander Calder
  • Hammock by Alexander Calder
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