Modern Tapestries

Alexander Calder “Les Vers Noirs”

Title/Series: Les Vers Noirs
Designer: Alexander Calder (1898-1976)
Manufacture: Atelier Pinton Frêres – Aubusson, France
Date: 1971
Materials: Wool
Dimensions: 5ft. 9in. x 7ft. 10in.

In 1971, after moving to Sache, France near Aubusson, Alexander Calder took a strong interest in tapestry leading him to partner directly with Aubusson weavers and produce a series of spectacular tapestries. Calder’s deliberately restrictive color palette and his bold, simplified forms were perfectly suited to the tapestry revival flourishing in France mid-century.

According to Calder scholar Jean Lipman, “Calder tapestries are closely related to his gouaches, but they are much larger and are often more complex in design … The tapestry medium  – like lithography and large scale sculpture – is an example of the successful collaboration with skilled craftsmen that has characterized Calder’s later years.”