Modified on October 24, 2020, before a further sale of Sumac 17
The visit by Sandy Calder to Gira Sarabhai is a nice story reminding 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 great achievement.
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 nine sculptures which he will build in Ahmedabad in January and February 1955, using his models with the greatest diversity and a wide range of colors.
The Sarabhai collection of custom made Calder art was a time capsule when it was sold by Christie's on May 10, 2016. Please watch the video shared by Christie's.
The top lot sold at Christie's in 2016, 5.8M including premium, was a hanging mobile 106 x 192 x 100 cm with brilliant red painted metal sheets, titled Sumac 17 by reference to the namesake plant. It is estimated $ 6M for sale by Sotheby's in New York on October 28, lot 7.
Christie's sold two Calder mobiles from the same date and provenance on March 7, 2017. A standing mobile 276 x 362 x 150 cm which had stayed in the garden was sold for £ 3.5M including premium. A polychrome hanging mobile 181 x 372 x 118 cm titled Guava was sold for £ 4.5M including premium.
SOLD for $ 8.3M including premium