One minute with Alexander Calder

Dear Friends,

We continue today our series with Alexander Calder, around a gouache painted in 1953. 

Let’s discover this work !

Françoise and Florence Chibret-Plaussu


One minute with Alexander Calder


Alexander Calder, is an artist born in the United States in 1898. He came to Paris in 1926 and was part of the Abstraction-Création group that promoted non-figurative art with Delaunay, Arp and Hélion among others.

His meeting with Mondrian in 1930 was capital. He was fascinated by abstraction, he added this movement to his workand built animated sculptures from 1931, which Marcel Duchamp baptized ‘mobiles’.

He was thus the first to place movement in sculpture and to detach himself from the academic tradition, long before American abstract expressionism.

During the summer of 1953 – the date of our painting – Calder moved close to Aix-en-Provence with his family. He developed a real passion for gouaches.

These gouaches, works of art in their own right, are part of the continuity of his work as a sculptor, and they share his minimalist and joyfully colorful language.

Calder succeeded in reaching a new modernity incorporating joie de vivre, freshness, simplicity and great freedom.

Certain themes recur regularly using primary colours: the cosmos with the sun, moon and stars.

The sun, which you will find in our gouache, is similar to the ‘Happy Family’ mobile created by the artist in 1955.

It was a new language, more immediate and more direct, breaking with European tradition and borrowed from American modernity.

You can discover this work on the walls of our gallery.


Alexander Calder
“Composition”, 1953

Alexander Calder, Composition, 1953, Gouache and ink on paper, 73 x 106,5 cm
Alexander Calder
Gouache and ink on paper
73 x 106,5 cm



– Pace Gallery, New York, 1986
– Gerhard Wurzer Gallery, Houston, Texas, 1986
– Ivan Bowen II collection, Wayzata, Minnesota
– Galeria Elvira Gonzalez, Madrid


– « Alexander Calder : Mobiles and Gouaches », Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, 1985
– « The Space of Dreams », Galeria Mayoral, Barcelona, 2017, p.86

This work is registered in the Alexander and Louisa Calder Foundation under N° A02764


Preparatory work for the mobile « Happy family » 1955
Preparatory work for the mobile « Happy family » 1955


Price upon request. Contact us

Learn more about Alexander Calder