Alexander Calder, ‘The Sphere and the Spirals | Le Sphere et les Spirales’, 1975, Gilden's Art Gallery

This is a hand woven wool tapestry was created by Alexander Calder.
It is hand signed with the artist’s initials in blue ballpoint pen “C.A.” on a label verso.
It is also signed in the weave with the artist’s signature “Calder” and the monogram of the publisher “P. F.” at the lower right.
Our tapestry is number 6 from planned, but not fully realised edition of 200. It bears the number woven onto a panel, verso.
It was woven in 1975 as part of the important series of Bicentenial Tapestries, commissioned to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the declaration of American Independence.
The tapestry was created under supervision of the artist at the renowned Atelier Pinton Frères, Aubusson, France.

Calder had already worked with the Pinton Frères at Aubusson before the important bicentennial arrived. Breaking with tradition and with a special permit issued by the French government, Calder was allowed to create the Bicentennial tapestries in an edition of 200, one to mark each year of Independence. Normally the edition of renowned Pinton Frères of Aubusson is restricted and protected by French law to only 6 publically available works and a small number of artist’s proofs and collaborator proofs. However, the scale, skill and time involved in producing each of these tapestries meant that much fewer than the planned 200 were ever realised.


  1. Metzner, J. (1975). The Bicentennial Tapestries. Alexander Calder. Catalogue 1975, illus. in colour. Pinton Frères: Abusson
  2. Lipman, J. & Wolfe, R. (1989). Calder’s Universe, Jean Lipman, Ruth Wolfe. Philadelphia, p. 157.

Condition: Very good condition. The colours strong. The label showing signs of wear and with minor tears, verso.

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