- Alexander Calder
- Jagged and Arched (Maquette)
- incised with the artist's monogram
- sheet metal and paint
Acquired by the present owner from the above in 1973
Forged entirely out of jet-black painted metal, the elegantly curved and beautifully counterbalanced composition of the present work belies its absolute solidity. Jagged and Arched (Maquette) from 1963 is a maquette that Calder created for his monumental sculpture of the same name and year, currently installed outside of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute in Utica, New York. Though there are clear parallels between the two sculptures, the delicate and intimate scale of the present work establishes a physical connection to the human body. It calls out to be touched, held, cradled. Balanced on a tabletop, gracefully perched on its resting points, Jagged and Arched resembles a cat, with its back arched, hair standing up on end, or a spider, poised in a menacing posture. This perfectly balanced composition at once reaches into Calder’s past, evoking the dynamic spirit of his early circus creations, and portends the many public commissions and monumental sculptures that Calder produced in the 1960’s.
During the coming decade, Alexander Calder focused much of his attention and efforts on producing monumental sculptures, or what he called agrandissements. These forms, which would complement the particular architectural space which they inhabited, became an easily recognizable component of the 20th Century landscape. Accustomed to creating mostly intimate, diminutive sculptures, Calder recognized early on that he could not simply replicate his previous style in larger formats. Rather, he needed to create small metal maquettes that could be enlarged to tremendous scale. Calder would tinker and experiment in this smaller scale, resulting in intimately proportioned, private miniatures of his famous public projects. In this way, Calder was able to properly engineer these large works and solve the structural issues posed by their scale, all while conceiving and articulating their incredible biomorphic and dynamic forms.