Sotheby's: Contemporary Curated

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Alexander Calder, ‘Necklace’, circa 1940, Sotheby's

Property from the Jacqueline Fowler Collection

Executed circa 1940, this work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York, under application number A00210.

From the Catalogue
Jacqueline Fowler has spent a lifetime discovering and collecting exquisite works of art. She has immersed herself fully in this endeavor, trusting her impeccable eye and innate sense for quality to seek out treasures from across a wide range of artistic styles.

Not only has Jackie, as she is called by her friends, been the faithful steward of such precious objects, she has also delighted in sharing them with numerous institutions, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Wellesley College and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Reflecting on her many significant contributions to The Met, curatorial director of the Leeds Art Foundation Joseph Cunningham praised Jackie’s unwavering dedication, remarking “Jackie’s insightful collecting, profound generosity and longstanding support of American and European art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art are inspiring to us. We admire her deep knowledge, exquisite taste and knack for finding the best of the best and generously sharing it with the public.”

he lots from the Jacqueline Fowler Collection offered here present a survey of her aesthetic interests. While her collection is marked by diversity, it is also unified by its outstanding quality, and in many cases, the rarity of its individual objects, such as her two exquisite Alexander Calder necklaces (lots 6 & 7), and her remarkable 1962 Robert Indiana painting The Dietary (lot 48).

The presentation of Jacqueline Fowler’s collection represents a unique opportunity to acquire an array of exciting and uncommon works by many of the most revered and celebrated artists of the last century.
—Courtesy of Sotheby's

New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Atlanta, The High Museum of Art; Minneapolis, Walker Art Center; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Calder's Universe, October 1976 - February 1977, p. 212, illustrated
Hartford, Wadsworth Atheneum, Calder in Connecticut, April - August 2000, pl. 35, illustrated

Jean Davidson, Ed., Alexander Calder: An Autobiography with Pictures, New York 1966, p. 178, illustrated

Betty Parsons Gallery, New York (acquired directly from the artist)
Chasborough Rayner, New York
Private Collection, Connecticut (acquired from the above circa 1985)
Sotheby's, New York, 10 November 2005, Lot 105
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

About Alexander Calder

American artist Alexander Calder changed the course of modern art by developing an innovative method of sculpting, bending, and twisting wire to create three-dimensional “drawings in space.” Resonating with the Futurists and Constructivists, as well as the language of early nonobjective painting, Calder’s mobiles (a term coined by Marcel Duchamp in 1931 to describe his work) consist of abstract shapes made of industrial materials––often poetic and gracefully formed and at times boldly colored––that hang in an uncanny, perfect balance. His complex assemblage Cirque Calder (1926–31), which allowed for the artist’s manipulation of its various characters presented before an audience, predated Performance Art by some 40 years. Later in his career, Calder devoted himself to making outdoor monumental sculptures in bolted sheet steel that continue to grace public plazas in cities throughout the world.

American, 1898-1976, Lawnton, Pennsylvania