DescriptionAN ALEXANDER CALDER SILVER AND STEEL WIRE PIN
Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976), New York, New York, circa 1950
4-3/4 inches high x 3-3/8 inches wide (12.1 x 8.4 cm)
The work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation under A25803.
Gifted to Jean Hatton Duffy by Alexander Calder in 1950
The double spiral in the form of the initials Jh, with hand hammered surface, pin secured with wound steel wire, slight bending of the surface of the spiral to left accommodating pin.
Calder did not create jewelry for the mass market, but as personal gifts, occasionally incorporating the recipient's name or initials. The Jh pin was created for Jean Hatton (Duffy), the editor of Progressive Architecture, who had met Calder in the late 1940's when she was working as an assistant to his New York dealer, Curt Valentin.
In fine condition with surface scratches commensurate with age.
Calder, Alexander:Alexander Calder pushed the boundaries of artistic and sculptural forms by incorporating his interest in movement and mechanics into ground breaking forms of art. As the son of Alexander Sterling Calder and grandson of Alexander Milne Calder, Calder was introduced to art at an early age, though he did not set his sights of becoming a professional artist until later in his life. Because of Calder’s interest in machinery and movement, he attended the Stevens Institute of Technology and received a degree in mechanical engineering in 1919, the influences of which can be seen in the construction of his work throughout his life. After a brief stint working odd jobs, he officially decided to pursue a career in art, and enrolled in the Art Students League in New York City in 1923. He then moved to Paris in 1926 where he befriended modern artists such as Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, and Piet Mondrian. Of these artists, Mondrian was the most influential on Calder’s works; the geometric shapes incorporated into Mondrian’s later work inspired the forms Calder used throughout his career. In 1931, Calder began making his “stabiles” (the coined name for his non-moving sculpture) and “mobiles” (his movable, kinetic pieces), which were featured in an exhibition organized by Duchamp, and then introduced in the US in 1932, where they were well-received and praised. From here, Calder’s career only continued to grow as he began to create monumental public sculpture, continued making his mobiles and stabiles out of experimental materials, and ventured into lithography. His work is now held in the collections of major museums throughout the US.
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