Nenuphar was built at Calder's workshop in France for the 1968 opening of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It is one of the artist's stabiles, or fixed sculptures, and the lyrical shapes cut from sheet steel convey the same gentle, graceful movement as his mobiles. Six silhouettes evoke the dark reflections of the water lily's flowering stalk and curling leaves. In fact, Calder conjured the entire intricate world of a windswept pond, varying the tendrils to suggest the shadowy presence of birds and fish among the lilies.
Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006
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