Archive for December 8, 2012

Artist of the moment….Great Goodwill Art Bargain…Alexander Calder…

Below a wonderful collection of sculptures by Alexander Calder.

Calder is given credit for inventing the moving sculpture. In this clip see some of his mobile artworks.

A few months ago you may remember a post about Ilya Bolotowsky. He was a Russian painter who was abstract in his art. A customer of a Goodwill store came upon a work by Bolotowsky, but didn’t know it. The customer just enjoyed the art! She eventually had the artwork appraised at it was an original work of art by Ilya Bolotowsky. It later sold at auction for $36,000. What a great story!

Another lucky customer of a Goodwill store has come across an art bargain. This time the artist was Alexander Calder, our featured artist of the moment. A teacher named Kathy Mallet was able to find a print by Calder at a Goodwill store and paid $12.34  for it. The work was a lithographic print by Alexander Calder and it sold for $9,000 this past week! Mallet is employed by Georgetown University in their public relations department.

Here is a picture of Kathy Mallet with the artwork she bought using her loyalty card. The original price was $12.99, with her loyalty card the price was taken down to $12.34.


Alexander Calder was born in Lawton, Pennsylvania in the year 1898.  His father Alexander Stirling Calder  was well known sculptor who was awarded many public commissions. His father was very skilled at working with both the male and female figure. Much of his work was very large in scale, public sized if you will. Below is an sample of his style of sculpture. Stirling Calder passed away in 1945.


Alexander Calder is also known for making many miniature sized figure works out of wire. His goal was to create an entire miniature circus.

In 1902 Calder posed for his father in a sculpture work that is now owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The work was titled THE MAN CLUB.

As a child his family lived in Arizona, California, and then back in Philadelphia. Then the artist’s father got a great position as head of sculpture with the Panama Pacific International Exposition. The family would move back and forth between New York and California.

For college the artist attended the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. His bachelor’s degree was in mechanical engineering. For a short time he was a mechanic on a ship that sailed to many exotic locales around the world. For his art skills, he took a job at the National Police Gazette where he was given an assignment to draw the Ringling Brothers circus. This would become a favorite lifelong theme for Calder.

He would move to New York and start taking classes at the Art Students League of New York.

Calder eventually settled in Paris raising two small children. He went on to make wearable art in addition to his paintings and sculptures.

Calder died in 1976 after a well received opening at a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York city.

Price range info: Sculptures can go as much as $4.4 million dollars. Works in gouache can be found in the six figures, less than $120,000. Ink works can be found for $20,000 to $50,000.


Artist of the moment…British Pop Star painter Allen Jones…..

Allen Jones is known for being a pop artist who enjoys working with the female form in both paintings and sculptures. Allen Jones was born in Southampton, England in the year 1937. The city is located in the south of England around 75 miles from London.

In this clip see and hear the artist talk about a sculpture project titled Temple. He talks about size and scale of his work and also movement and color.

For his collegiate studies Jones attended the Hornsey School of the Arts located in London.

From 1961 to 1963 Allen Jones was part of the teaching faculty at Croyden College of London, a school specializing in education of the arts.

Allen Jones has a very unique niche in the art world, he is one of few artists dealing with forniphilia. This is when a piece of furniture morphs into a human body. Jones often does this with his female forms.

Jones was elected to the Royal Academy in 1986.

Here is a link to a show celebrating the artist’s 75 birthday in 2012. The show runs until December 22 at Galerie Fluegel Roncak in Germany:

Price range info: The artist has worked in many mediums and his highest selling medium is oils. They range in price from $375,000 to $20,000. He has produced a great deal of lithographs that range from $500 to $2,000. Silkscreens go from $500 to $2,000. Non public sized bronzes can be found from $5,000 to $50,000.

An awesome clip to watch! See a show dealing with the artist’s figure work at Ludlow Castle in 2009.

The artist reminds me of Tom Wesselmann. Wesselmann worked with the female figure in a very abstract and real manner. Wesselmann many times used the female silhouette and lines, then added very bright colors and areas he hoped to exaggerate. This would be the breasts and nipples. Below is a great example of Wesselmann’s figure work. The piece is painted on metal.


Another artist that comes to mind when looking at Allen Jones style is Julian Opie. Opie is a very modern artist who incorporates many mediums into his depictions of the female figure. Julian Opie has done series that include female pole dancers.  Below is a clip featuring some works done Julian Opie with the subject being pole dancers.

Allen Jones, Julian Opie, and Tom Wesselmann all have made wonderful careers out of working with the female form. Its just as exciting for me to look at these new and modern styles of figure work, with the emphasis of lines and brief explosions of color, as it is to see a fundamentalist type of work that concentrates on the flesh such as a Robert Liberace or Peter Paul Ruebens. I also love the fact the modern artist experiment with new materials such as Allen Jones working with steel and Julian Opie incorporating digital ideas into his art.