Alexander Calder

American, 1898-1976

Black Crescent (also known as Standing Constellation)

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

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Black Crescent (also known as Standing Constellation), ca. 1951

Artwork Details


painted steel and wire


overall: 31 x 19 x 13 5/8 inches (78.74 x 48.26 x 34.61 cm)

Collection Buffalo AKG Art Museum


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Bunshaft, 1976

Accession ID


While Black Crescent shares the same compositional qualities as Alexander Calder’s mobiles, its components do not move. The sculpture's crescent and two spheres joined by a wire are simple and clean, and reminiscent of some of the artist’s earliest work. In his artistic practice, Calder often took inspiration from the sky to create compositions, and both the current and previous titles of this work, which is also known as Standing Constellation, suggest a celestial intervention. Calder once stated, “from the beginning of my abstract work, even when it might not have seemed so, I felt there was no better model for me to choose than the Universe.”

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