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Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

American, 1898-1976
American, 1898-1976

The American sculptor Alexander Calder is known as the father of the mobile, a moving artwork composed of delicately balanced sculptural forms suspended from the ceiling.

Because Calder's parents, both artists themselves, did not want him to suffer the hardships of trying to make a living in art, they encouraged the young Calder to study mechanical engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. He worked a number of jobs, including as a hydraulic engineer and draftsman for the New York Edison Company, before deciding to pursue an artistic career. He never abandoned his engineering background, however, applying his understanding of gears and moving parts in all his artworks, from mechanical toys like the Cirque Calder (1931) and his revered prints to his free-standing abstract sculptures, called stabiles.

In 1926, Calder moved to Paris and established a studio in the Montparnasse quarter. He began creating the many parts of his famous miniature circus from found materials, such as wire, string, cloth, rubber and cork. Designed to be transportable, Cirque grew to fill five suitcases over the years. Always interested in putting forms in motion, Calder also pioneered a new art form called wire sculptures, which he described as “drawings in space.” Like his famous mobiles, the wire sculptures were suspended so that they turned with any movement of the air, presenting different forms when viewed from different angles.

In the 1950s, Calder returned to his roots in mechanical engineering, creating monumental abstract sculptures that verged on the architectural. He worked from loose gestural drawings like this preparatory sketch for his Man Stabile, from 1966. Throughout his career, he also worked as a set designer for the theater, as well as an illustrator and printmaker, producing vibrant, whimsical drawings for books and journals.

Find original Alexander Calder art today on 1stDibs.

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Artist: Alexander Calder
The Forest
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A painting by Alexander Calder. "The Forest" is a Post-War abstract painting, gouache and ink on paper in bold colors of reds, blacks, yellows, and blues by artist Alexander Calder. ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Post-War Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

Materials

Ink, Gouache

Tornado in Space
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A drawing by Alexander Calder. "Tornado in Space" is a Post-War abstract drawing, ink on paper in black and white by artist Alexander Calder. The artwork is signed in the lower right...
Category

Early 20th Century Post-War Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

Materials

Ink

Underwater Sunset
By Alexander Calder
Located in Paris, FR
Alexander CALDER (1898-1976) Underwater Sunset Painted in 1964 Gouache on paper Signed and dated lower right This work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New Y...
Category

1960s Abstract Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

Materials

Paper, Gouache

Sketch for 'The X & Its Tails,' 1967
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palo Alto, CA
This work is registered as an authentic work by Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976) in the archives of the Calder Foundation (NY), under application number A.24492. Created in 1967, this...
Category

1960s Modern Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

Materials

Ink, Pen

Portrait of Giovanni Carandente
By Alexander Calder
Located in Roma, RM
Alexander Calder (Lawnton 1898 – New York 1976), Portrait of Giovanni Carandente Marker on napkin 17 x 17 cm signed lower left. The work is archived at the Calder Foundation of New...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Modern Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

Materials

Pen

Original gouache painting by Alexander Calder titled 'McGovern'
By Alexander Calder
Located in London, GB
*UK BUYERS WILL PAY AN ADDITIONAL 5% IMPORT DUTY ON TOP OF THE ABOVE PRICE This vibrant gouache by Alexander Calder owes its origin to the 1972 Presidential Election between Republi...
Category

Late 20th Century Abstract Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

Materials

Paper, Gouache

Sketch for 'The X & Its Tails'. 1967
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palo Alto, CA
This work is registered as an authentic work by Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976) in the archives of the Calder Foundation (NY), under application number A.24492.  Created in 1967, this...
Category

1960s Modern Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

Materials

Ink, Pen

The Yellow Shock Absorber - Gouache American Kinetic Art Post War
By Alexander Calder
Located in London, GB
ALEXANDER CALDER 1898-1976 Lawnton, Pennsylvania 1898 - 1976 New York (American) Title: The Yellow Shock Absorber, 1969 Technique: Original Signed and Dated Gouache and Waterc...
Category

1960s Kinetic Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

Materials

Gouache

Seahorse
By Alexander Calder
Located in London, GB
ALEXANDER CALDER 1898-1976 Lawnton, Pennsylvania 1898 - 1976 New York (American) Title: Seahorse, 1962 Technique: Original Signed and Dated Gouache and Ink on BFK Rives Wove P...
Category

1960s Kinetic Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

Materials

Gouache

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Zigzag Sun and Crags
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Directions
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A painting by Alexander Calder. "Directions" is a Post-War abstract painting, gouache and ink on paper in bold colors of reds, blacks, yellows, and oranges by artist Alexander Calder...
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  • Directions
  • Directions
  • Directions
  • Directions
H 29.5 in. W 43.25 in.
L' Envolee
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A painting by Alexander Calder. "L'Envolee" is a Post-War abstract painting, gouache and ink on paper in bold colors of reds and blacks by artist Alexander Calder. The artwork is sig...
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Tracks
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
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Ink, Gouache

  • Tracks
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H 29.375 in. W 41.125 in.
The Oval Spiral
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A painting by Alexander Calder. "The Oval Spiral" is a Post-War, geometric abstract painting, gouache and ink on paper in bold colors of reds and blacks by artist Alexander Calder. T...
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Vive
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A painting by Alexander Calder. "Vive" is a Post-War abstract painting, gouache and ink on paper in bold colors of reds, blacks, and blues by artist Alexander Calder. The artwork is ...
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Mid-20th Century Post-War Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

Materials

Ink, Gouache

  • Vive
  • Vive
  • Vive
  • Vive
H 30 in. W 43.375 in.
Cercles
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
An artwork by Alexander Calder. "Cercles" is an abstract painting, gouache and ink on paper in bold colors of reds, blues, and blacks by Post-War, American artist Alexander Calder. T...
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Late 20th Century Post-War Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

Materials

Ink, Gouache

  • Cercles
  • Cercles
H 30.75 in. W 22.5 in.
Colonial Organisms
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A painting by Alexander Calder. "Colonial Organisms" is a Post-War abstract painting, gouache and ink on paper in bold colors of reds, blacks, yellows, and blues by artist Alexander ...
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Tornado in Space
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
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Previously Available Items
Untitled
By Alexander Calder
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A gouache on stationery paper, design for a rug, depicting abstract shapes of bright orange red, blue and black by Alexander Calder. Provenance: Gift from the Artist; By descent...
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1960s Contemporary Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

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  • Untitled
  • Untitled
  • Untitled
  • Untitled
H 8.25 in. W 10.57 in.
Title: Untitled
By Alexander Calder
Located in London, GB
ALEXANDER CALDER 1898-1976 Lawnton, Pennsylvania 1898 - 1976 New York (American) Title: Untitled, 1963 Technique: Signed and Dated Gouache and Ink on J. Whatman England Wove Paper ...
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1960s Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

Alexander Calder drawings and watercolor paintings for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Alexander Calder drawings and watercolor paintings for sale. If you’re looking for a way to introduce a pop of color to a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of orange, yellow and other colors. You can also browse by medium to find art by Alexander Calder in watercolor, paint, gouache, and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th Century and is mostly associated with the Post-War style. Not every interior allows for large Alexander Calder drawings and watercolor paintings, so small editions measuring 15.5 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Sam Francis, Paul McCoy and William Jacobs. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $29,000 and tops out at $230,000, while the average work can sell for $140,000.
Questions About Alexander Calder Drawings and Watercolor Paintings
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    American artist Alexander Calder is best known for his work in sculpture, particularly his monumental sculptures and innovative ‘mobiles’ in the tradition of kinetic art. Shop a collection of authentic Alexander Calder pieces from some of the world’s top art dealers on 1stDibs.

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