Knoedler & Co., New York
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner circa 1980
This work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York, under application number A02131
Executed in the penultimate year in the life of one of the Twentieth Century's greatest sculptors, Five Little Discs is a wonderfully poised example of Alexander Calder's major innovation to combine the kinetics of mobility and the sweeping, structural beauty of static energy. As with the other outstanding examples of these statue-mobiles, the present work combines the techniques mastered by Calder in his earlier investigations into the dual forces of rest and motion. Seeming to invert the viewer's preconceptions of the solidity, weight and immovability of metal, Five Discs displays Calder's uncanny aptitude to manipulate this inflexible material and expand the boundaries of three-dimensional compositions. Calder himself stated that "when everything goes right a mobile is a piece of poetry that dances with the joy of life and surprise" (the artist cited in: Exhibition Catalogue, New York, O'Hara Gallery, Alexander Calder: Selected Works 1932-1972, p. 3). With its elegant grounded base and extended free-flowing arm, Five Little Discs strikes a perfect balance between rest and motion. The vivid geometric elements cut from industrial metals take on a life of their own. The bold primaries of red and blue, complimented with the ethereal white discs coalesce into a highly sophisticated composition to form an art work that is aesthetically beautiful, technically accomplished and a marvel of artistic ingenuity.
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