The visit by Sandy Calder to Gira Sarabhai is one of the nicest stories related to the globalization of art after World War II and the independence of India.
Gira is the youngest daughter of a wealthy industrialist of the textile. In 1949, she seconds her brother Shri Gautam Sarabhai to create in Ahmedabad the Calico Museum of Textile which is a rare accomplishment.
Gira is very attentive to modern art. She invites Western artists for short stays in her family home. The choice of her visitors shows her keen interest in the avant-gardes : Noguchi, Le Corbusier, John Cage, Rauschenberg, Cartier-Bresson, Neutra, Charles and Ray Eames.
Circa 1954 in Paris, Gira buys a hanging mobile realized in 1952. An architect by training, she loves the art of Calder, a clever mixing of technique, of geometric balance of weights and of ingenious vegetable inspiration. Sandy and Louisa Calder enthusiastically accept Gira's invitation.
Sandy wants to make this trip successful and carefully prepares before leaving the drawings of the mobiles which he will build in Ahmedabad in January and February 1955, with the greatest diversity of his models and a great range of colors. Having remained intact, this collection is a time capsule of the art of Calder in the mid-1950s.
The set is dispersed on May 10 by Christie's in New York, starting at Lot 8 B with the piece purchased by Gira in Paris. The works carried out in 1955 in Ahmedabad are at lots 9 B to 16 B. Here is the link to these lots. The most monumental mobile with overall dimensions 276 x 362 x 150 cm had been installed in the garden. It is estimated $ 6M, lot 15 B.
I invite you to watch the video shared by Christie's.
The top lot of the the group is a hanging mobile named Sumac 17 made in 1955, lot 10 B, sold for $ 5.8M including premium.
Lot 8 B (1952) : SOLD for $ 3.75M including premium.
Lot 15 B : unsold.
The 1955 garden mobile that went unsold in the 2016 auction after it had the top estimate in that sale is now estimated £ 3.5M for sale by Christie's in London on March 7, 2017, lot 31.
Lot 31 was sold for £ 3.5M including premium.
Lot 30 was a hanging mobile from the same series and provenance titled Guava. It was sold for £ 4.5M including premium.