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Black Saucers, 1968

Alexander Calder

American, 1898-1976
Gouache on paper
43-1/4 x 29-1/2 in. (109.9 x 74.9 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Norton Simon Inc.

Not on view

The son and grandson of sculptors, Alexander Calder drew from his engineering and illustration backgrounds to create whimsical wire sculptures and mobiles. After coming into contact with the work of Piet Mondrian, however, Calder became an abstract artist. The simplification of forms was a natural fit for Calder’s fundamental interest in constellations, the cosmos, and movement. “The underlying sense of form in my work has been the system of the universe, or part thereof,” the artist once said, and this gouache follows suit. Horizontal black ellipses decrease in size as they float upwards towards the edge of the paper, suggesting an infinite path that continues above and beyond the frame.

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