Newsletter no. 6

Wednesday 19th July 2023

Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976), Butterfly 1968

Each week discover the exhibitors of FAB PARIS 2023

This week, discover an Alexander Calder drawing presented by Galerie AB, a Serge Poliakoff drawing chosen by Galerie Ludorff and another Alexander Calder drawing proposed by Galerie de la Présidence.

Galerie AB

Founded by Agnès Aittouares in 1989, Galerie AB is located in the heart of the Drouot district, and has recently opened a second space in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

These two galleries are meeting places for artists, collectors and dealers from all around the world. She presents works from 1880 to the present day, including those of Pierre Alechinsky, Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Hans Hartung, František Kupka and Fernand Léger.

Her taste for the discovery of new cultures leads her to present painters linked to emerging countries such as India with Sahied Raza, Iran with Nasser Assar or China with Zao Wou Ki, Chu Teh Chun and T’ang Haywen.

She takes part in many fairs such as FAB (Paris), the Salon du Dessin (Paris), Art Paris Art Fair (Paris) and the BRAFA Art Fair (Brussels).

Galerie AB, Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976), Butterfly, 1968, Gouache on paper

Alexander Calder
(1898 – 1976)
Gouache on paper
Signed and dated lower right
57,7 x 78,1 cm
Registered in the Calder Foundation archives under no. A 14409

Private collection, London (acquired directly from the artist)
Private collection (acquired by descent in 1982)


Since 1975, Galerie Ludorff has stood for the consistency of a high-quality programme.

Works of German Impressionism, Expressionism and Classic Modernism form the foundation of the gallery’s programme. The collection of post-war art and the presentation of selected contemporary positions are equally important to us to this day.

Twice a year we present new acquisitions from our programme, as well as up to four exhibitions which are accompanied by detailed catalogues. Exhibition highlights of the last years were among others solo shows of Josef Albers, Alex Katz, Lotte Laserstein and Sam Francis. In addition, the gallery participates in up to eight international art fairs per year.

Galerie Ludorff, Serge Poliakoff, Composition abstraite, 1967, Gouache on paper, 63 x 49 cm

Serge Poliakoff
Composition abstraite
Gouache on paper, 63 x 49 cm

Galerie de la Présidence

Located opposite the Elysée Palace, the Galerie de la Présidence, founded in 1971, by Françoise Chibret-Plaussu, is now run by her daughter Florence.

The gallery offers a selection of masters from the nineteenth to the twentieth century including Boudin, Buffet, Cross, Derain, Fautrier, Dufy, Giacometti, Gromaire, Hélion, Maillol, Marquet, Matisse, Poliakoff, Signac, Veira da Silva, Vlaminck and Vuillard.

It has mounted exhibitions devoted to Marquet, Vlaminck, Signac, Cross, Hélion, Maillol as to well as to Marcel Gromaire (producing the catalogue raisonné of his works in oil).

The gallery regularly works with leading museums, notably in 2016, on the Boudin retrospective held at the Musée d’Art moderne André-Malraux in Le Havre and on the Marquet exhibition at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Galerie de la Présidence, Alexander CALDER (1898-1976), Composition, 1976, Gouache on paper

Alexander Calder
Gouache on paper, 37,7 x 109,6 cm
Signed and dated lower right
Dedicated to Nicholas Guppy lower center

Nicholas Guppy Collection, London (a gift from the artist in 1976)
Private Collection, Istanbul
Private Collection, Paris

« Calder », Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, July – August 1980, n°41

This work is registered in the Calder Foundation under n° A09277.


About this artwork

This drawing belonged to Nicholas Guppy. Botanist and ethnologist, a great friend of Calder. He was also interested in art, so much so that he opened a gallery in London. He shared Calder’s great sensitivity to the elements, particularly the aquatic environment. Our painting is reminiscent of the seabed: gently agitated seaweed swaying in the currents.

Alexander Calder is an artist born in the United States in 1898. He came to Paris in 1926 and was part of the Abstraction-Création group that promoted non-figurative art with Delaunay, Arp and Hélion among others. His meeting with Mondrian in 1930 was capital. He was fascinated by abstraction, he added this movement to his work and built animated sculptures from 1931, which Marcel Duchamp baptized ‘mobiles’.

He was thus the first to place movement in sculpture and to detach himself from the academic tradition, long before American abstract expressionism. During the summer of 1953 – the date of our painting – Calder moved close to Aix-en- Provence with his family. He developed a real passion for gouaches.

These gouaches, works of art in their own right, are part of the continuity of his work as a sculptor, and they share his minimalist and joyfully colorful language. Calder succeeded in reaching a new modernity incorporating joie de vivre, freshness, simplicity and great freedom.

Certain themes recur regularly using primary colours: the cosmos with the sun, moon and stars.

It was a new language, more immediate and more direct, breaking with European tradition and borrowed from American modernity.


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