A large black abstract mobile hangs from the ceiling in a white gallery.
Alexander Calder
Eighteen Numbered Black, 1953

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Eighteen Numbered Black
Artist name
Alexander Calder
Date created
metal and paint
110 in. × 140 in. × 140 in. (279.4 cm × 355.6 cm × 355.6 cm)
The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
© Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Permanent URL
Artwork status
On view on floor 3 as part of Alexander Calder: Dissonant Harmony through June 25, 2023.

Audio Stories

How Calder is like Beethoven

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SFX: Music, spare, meditative



I actually grew up with a mobile above me all the time that was made by my grandfather.



Sandy Rower



I wish Eighteen Numbered Black was mine.


SFX: Piano opens up into a concerto reminiscent of Beethoven



If you think about a handwritten composition by Beethoven or something, if you think about the notes on the score, then the sculpture starts to have this kind of resonance to how music or sound has these waves, these frequencies. And the mobiles have that, too.


SFX: Music



Move around. Try looking at it from different angles.



It has so much going on that each time you see it, you can have a new experience. There’s a sensation that something might even be alive. Even though it’s just metal—you know, sheet metal, wire, paint, you do feel this quality of a presence in the room with you.


SFX: Music fades

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Other Works by Alexander Calder

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