- Gallery Text
The slightest breeze would set into motion the whimsical, abstract forms of Little Blue under Red. Calder employed shape, line, and color, the basic elements of painting, to create a kinetic construction, and each component of the work contributes to a balancing act. The blue and red ellipses, arcing wires, and metal circle at the top are anchored on a solid black base whose curved offshoots suggest human legs. The work is an instance of Calder combining his “stabiles,” which stand on a base, with his suspended, freely swinging “mobiles.” Calder spent years in Paris, where he was involved with artists including Marcel Duchamp and Joan Miró. Like many contemporary sculptors, he utilized industrial techniques and everyday materials, and his early studies in mechanical engineering indelibly influenced his process. With works such as Little Blue under Red, Calder proposes that sculpture can be a dynamic entity, responding actively to its environment.
- Identification and Creation
Level 1, Room 1200, Modern and Contemporary Art, Mid–century Abstraction I
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- Physical Descriptions
- Painted steel
- sight: 147.3 x 208.3 cm (58 x 82 in.)
- Alexander Calder, c. 1950, sold; to Fogg Art Museum, 1955.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Louise E. Bettens Fund
- © Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Modern and Contemporary Art
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- Publication History
Frederick A. Sweet and Katharine Kuh, Abstract and Surrealist American Art, exh. cat., The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicgo, IL, 1947), Cover, fig. 39, ill. (b&w)
"Accessions of American and Canadian Museums, July - September 1955", The Art Quarterly (Spring 1956), pp. 78-79, ill.
L'Art dans les Collections Universitaires Américaines, exh. cat., Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (Brussels, Belgium, 1956), reproduced, cat. no. 4
University Collections, exh. cat., College Art Association of America (New York, 1956), reproduced, cat. no. 4, p. 11, 18
Oeuvres d'art des musées universitaires Americains: peintures, sculptures anciennes et modernes, exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen (Lyon, France, 1957), cat. no. 46
Barbara Rose, American Art Since 1900, Praeger (New York, NY, 1968), reproduced figs. 9-10, pp. 247-248
Kenyon Castle Bolton, III, Peter G. Huenink, Earl A. Powell III, Harry Z. Rand, and Nanette C. Sexton, American Art at Harvard, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1972), cat. 158, ill.
Alexander Calder: A Retrospective Exhibition, exh. cat., American Water Color Society (Chicago, IL, 1974)
Caroline A. Jones, Modern Art at Harvard: The Formation of the Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press, 1985). With an essay by John Coolidge and a preface by John M. Rosenfield. To accompany the inaugural exhibition at the Sackler Museum, Oct 21 1985 - Jan 5 1986, reproduced in b/w, fig. 65, p. 71
Eric M. Zafran, Calder in Connecticut, exh. cat., Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. (Hartford, CT, 2000), pp. 122- 23 , no. 142, ill.
Stephanie Barron and Lisa Gabrielle Mark, ed., Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic, exh. cat., DelMonico Books Prestel and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Munich, London, New York, 2013), pp. 47-48, fig. 8, ill. (color)
- Exhibition History
Abstract and Surrealist American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, 11/06/1947 - 01/11/1948
University Collections, [Unknown venue, Malmo, Sweden], Malmo, 06/30/1956 - 07/15/1956; Centraal Museum Utrecht, Utrecht, 08/04/1956 - 09/08/1956; City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, 09/18/1956 - 10/14/1956; Senate House, London, 10/22/1956 - 10/27/1956; Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, 11/05/1956 - 11/17/1956; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Brussels, 12/08/1956 - 12/30/1956; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Liège, Liege, 01/12/1957 - 02/10/1957
American Art at Harvard, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/19/1972 - 06/18/1972
Modern Art at Harvard, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/21/1985 - 01/05/1986
Modern Art at Harvard, Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, 07/31/1999 - 09/26/1999; Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Kagawa, 10/09/1999 - 11/14/1999; Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya, 12/02/1999 - 12/27/1999; Oita City Museum, Oita, 01/06/2000 - 02/06/2000; Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Ibaraki, 02/11/2000 - 03/26/2000
32Q: 1200 Mid-Century Abstraction I (Painterly Abstraction), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050
- Related Works
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