Alexander Calder Offers a Ray of Light in Dark Times, at Dean Borghi

Don't miss his lesser-known paintings and works on paper.

Alexander Calder, Jaune O'Oeuf. Courtesy Dean Borghi Fine Art.
Alexander Calder, Jaune O'Oeuf. Courtesy Dean Borghi Fine Art.

The winter solstice has passed, the days are getting longer, and there’s a show of gorgeous works by American master Alexander Calder on view in Chelsea through the new year, so if you’re slogging through a cold winter in New York, there are some bright spots.

While Calder is best known for his mobiles and stabiles, he was also an avid painter and printmaker, as evidenced by a robust group of gouaches and lithographs on view at Dean Borghi Fine Art.

Calder plays with abstraction and signification in The Letters, a lithograph in which the first three characters of the alphabet take on swirly shapes against a backdrop of primary colors. Landscapes like The Yellow Sky and Great Yellow Sun are more straightforwardly representational, the latter showing a trio of pyramids under a sun that seems ready to swallow the world.

The gallery declined to disclose prices, but it’s clear that Calder’s paintings and works on paper are a relative bargain compared to his sculptures, according to data from the artnet Price Database. While prices for Calder’s mobiles have soared as high as $25.9 million (fetched by a 1957 sculpture at Christie’s New York in 2014), his highest price for a painting or work on paper is $1.9 million, paid at Sotheby’s New York for Personnage, an oil painting from 1946. It’s the only Calder painting to top $1 million.


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