Even though Alexander Calder is best known for his wire mobiles, he was also a prolific printmaker from the mid 1920s. As Calder’s professional reputation expanded in the late 1940s and 1950s, so did his production of prints. Masses of lithographs based on his gouache paintings were marketed. Deluxe editions of plays, poems, and short stories illustrated with fine art prints by Calder became available.
Calder’s prints typically featuring black and primary colours. The subject matter of his prints were geometric lines, spirals, and flattened biomorphic shapes including pyramids. While many of Calder’s prints appear as abstract, Calder also incorporated symbols of people, plants, and animals. During the Vietnam War, Calder created several political anti-war prints.
Most of Calder’s prints were lithograph prints. All of Calder’s prints are original prints as Calder saw printmaking as a distinct medium to create artworks.
The easiest clue to identifying an Alexander Calder lithograph is the size of the paper on which the image is printed. Another way to tell if you have an authentic Calder is to consider the signature since Calder signed the greater number of his works on paper. There are standard sizes of paper which Calder used, so unless the print has been cut down–which negatively impacts value–most of Calder’s prints from a particular period of time would be about the same size.
Alexander Calder Prints
View prints by Alexander Calder here.