Calder made this work at the height of his career; he had recently represented the United States at the 1952 Venice Biennale, where he won the Grand Prize for sculpture. Trained as an engineer, Calder was concerned with creating dynamic relationships between the many elements in his kinetic sculptures. He explained, "How can art be realized? Out of volumes, motion, spaces bounded by the great space, the universe. Nothing at all of this is fixed. Each element able to move, to stir, to oscillate, to come and go in its relationship with the other elements."
Inscription: Signed and dated on large black leaf: CA 56
[Galerie Maeght, Paris]; David Solinger; [Klaus Perls Galleries, New York, by 1964–65; sold on October 4, 1965 to B. C. Holland]; [B. C. Holland Gallery, Chicago, 1965; sold to Newman]; Muriel Kallis Newman, Chicago (until 2006; her gift to MMA)
New York. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Alexander Calder: A Retrospective Exhibition," November 1964–January 1965, no. 161.
Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou. "Alexander Calder: A Retrospective Exhibition," July–October 1965, no. 174.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. "Alexander Calder: A Retrospective Exhibition, Work from 1925 to 1974," October 26–December 8, 1974, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "An American Choice: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection," May 21–September 27, 1981, unnumbered cat. (p. 49).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Abstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 17, 2007–February 3, 2008, extended to March 2, 2008, no. 53.
Monica Meenan. "The Vigorous Collectors." Town and Country 132 (September 1978), ill. p. 148.
Alice Hess. "Great Private Collections: A Chicago Visionary." Saturday Review 7, no. 14 (October 1980), ill. p. 74.
Grace Glueck. "Met Is Given a $12 Million Art Collection." New York Times (December 10, 1980), p. B7.
Hilton Kramer. "Modernist Show Moves Met Firmly into Art of 20th Century." New York Times (May 22, 1981), p. C1.
M. W. Newman. "Chicago." Franklin Mint Almanac 12, no. 4 (July–August 1981), ill. p. 20.
Judith Goldman. "Collecting: Vicarious Pleasures of a Daring Painter-Turned-Collector." Vogue (August 1981), ill. p. 50.
William Agee. "Muriel Kallis Newman: Life Among the Moderns." Architectural Digest (December 1986), p. 66.
Victoria Newhouse. Art and the Power of Placement. New York, 2005, fig. 164.
Marla Prather inAbstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Gary Tinterow, Lisa Mintz Messinger, and Nan Rosenthal. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 172–73, no. 53, ill. (color).