Illustrated notes for an exhibition at the Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 1941–42
Gift of the Pierre Matisse Foundation, 1997
© 2006 Estate of Alexander Calder / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Calder sent Pierre Matisse these detailed instructions on the assembly and pricing of sculptures for an upcoming gallery exhibition. The prices are indicated in bright red pencil. The illustrations and notes describe the proper installation of the artist's stabiles, which were not intended to be touched, and mobiles, which could gently be put into motion. Calder was one of the few American artists represented by Matisse, whose influential New York gallery generally showed the work of Europeans of the French school, including Balthus, Dubuffet, Giacometti, and Miró. From 1934 to 1943, the Matisse Gallery mounted eight exhibitions of Calder's work.