Alexander Calder designed a series of fourteen wall hangings in 1973 as a part of a 1972 Nicaraguan earthquake relief project. Calder’s designs were produced by more than one hundred master weavers from Nicaragua and Guatemala. The weavers worked with natural braided sisal, a fiber made from native agave plants. The pieces were not woven, but braided, a technique designed to capture Calder’s unique vision. Traditionally recognized for his mobile sculptures, these woven pieces are a departure for Calder in medium but not in style. Presented as “soft sculptures”, the hangings cohere with Calder’s body of work by their bright colors, fluid lines, and circular patterns. They reflect his better-known sculptural work in their abstraction. Although primarily non-representational, some depict scenes of humans and nature. The weavings share a collective palette of red, yellow, turquoise, black, and white—Calder’s favorites.
-Charla Hamilton, Class of 2015