After stays at two venues in the Netherlands, Alexander Calder’s 1969 monumental outdoor sculpture Janey Waney was reinstalled in Gramercy Park. The 26-foot-tall standing mobile was previously on view at the Maastricht-based European Fine Arts Fair in March. In June, it travelled to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where it was exhibited as part of a show of monumental Calder sculptures. Now, back in New York’s fenced-off park, the work has reclaimed the spot it’s held since October 2011.
Janey Waney was made because of Jane Holzer, an American model with a Brigitte Bardot-like smolder who ultimately became Andy Warhol’s muse and is now a collector. Holzer saw a maquette in Calder’s studio and suggested he make a large-scale version of it. The work was then commissioned by the N.K. Winston Company for the Smith Haven Mall, built in Lake Grove, Long Island, by Leonard Holzer, Jane’s husband.
When the sculpture was shown at the European Fine Arts Fair, The New York Times’ Carol Vogel raised questions about the work’s owner. Vogel wrote that she heard whispers that David and Leslie Rogath owned the work, and that they were trying to sell it for $20 million. Calder Foundation President Alexander Rower told ARTnews today that those were false rumors, adding that the sculpture will remain in the park indefinitely and that the sculpture’s installation is “one of the [the foundation’s] great successes.”
Though Gramercy Park isn’t open to the public (you have to be a nearby resident in order to get a key to visit the park), it is still viewable from the street through slats in the park’s fence. Still, for those lucky enough to have access to the park, it’s no doubt a joy to have the work back in New York.