Alexander Calder

American, 1898-1976

Large Gypsophila on Black Spike

© Calder Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Large Gypsophila on Black Spike, 1951

Artwork Details


painted steel and wire


overall: 52 x 32 1/2 x 16 inches (132.08 x 82.55 x 40.64 cm)

Collection Buffalo AKG Art Museum


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Bunshaft, 1976

Accession ID


As he did in The Cone, Alexander Calder delicately balanced a mobile component on top of a stable base to create Large Gypsophila on Black Spike. While he often found inspiration in nature, particularly the heavens, he looked to his more everyday environment for this composition, which is intended to imitate the “pyramidal growth pattern of the herb for which it is named.” Calder’s home in Roxbury, Connecticut, was full of plants whose forms were often repeated in his work. To create compositions such as this, Calder would often start with the shape of a leaf at the tip and work backward.

Label from Artists in Depth: Arp, Miró, Calder, March 25, 2011–April 15, 2012