On the Blue Swamp

Alexander Calder

(Lawnton, 1898 - New York, 1976)
Gouache on paper 58 x 78 cm (22.8 x 30.8 in.) Signed and dated lower right corner 'Calder '66' 1966

Working in two-dimensions, Calder preferred gouache and ink to watercolor, which was too pale, and oil, which was too slow. By the mid-1940s, he began to create numerous gouaches and even set up a “gouacherie” studio in 1954 on his property in Saché, France.

In On the Blue Swamp, one can see the impact of Miró, who remained one of Calder’s closest friends for nearly fifty years up until Calder’s death in 1976. Like Miró, Calder simplified abstract shapes and added playful motifs using vivid red and black, placed in contrast with an atmospheric background of yellow, green, and blue. This gouache stands out for its incredibly rich, bright colors and balanced composition. In the same way that his motifs can be difficult to decipher, the title of this work is equally ambiguous. Calder and his peers were wary of offering interpretations and often shied away from divulging their motives (Elsen, Alexander Calder: A Retrospective Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1974, p. 2).

A authenticity certificate issued by the Calder Foundation is pending.

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David Tunick, Inc.

"Works of art on paper dating from the 15th century to classic 20th century"

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