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Black Crescent (also known as Standing Constellation)

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

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Alexander Calder

American, 1898-1976

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

painted steel and wire

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

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Bunshaft, 1976


More Details


from the artist to Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Bunshaft, New York, 1955;
donated to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, December 1976



Work Type

Construction (sculpture)

Information may change due to ongoing research.Glossary of Terms

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

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