His friend Herve Poulain, a French auctioneer and race driver, asked him to commission a rolling canvas on the BMW 3.0 CSL he would race at Le Mans 24 Hours race.
An engineer and sculptor, Calder’s challenge was creating his own “artistic stamp” on something that he did not produce and sculpt himself.
His rendition of the BMW Art Car boasts powerful colors and attractive curving expanses, which he applied generously to the wings, hood and roof.
Calder saw his art in action when he attended the Le Mans 24-hour race as a guest to witness his work’s premiere.
The BMW 3.0 CSL was powered by a 6 cylinders, 24 valves DOHC engine, with a displacement of 3210 cc and a maximum output of 480 hp. It could reach a top speed of 291 km/h.
Alexander Calder – The Artist
Born in 1898 in Philadelphia, legendary American artist Alexander Calder began his career as an engineer. But art soon won out over engineering (Calder’s father and grandfather were both sculptors).
At 28, Calder moved to Paris, where he came into contact with the avant-garde scene. Drawn to both art and technology, he developed a uniquely individual style of sculpture. His often large-scale pieces have a buoyant, whimsical effect, and are painted in cheery primary colors. Often mobile sculptures, they combine Calder’s love of art with his knowledge of engineering. His most famous works of abstract art entitled “Mobiles” were viewed as the most innovative sculptures of the 20 th century.
|Alexander Calder and Herve Poulain||Alexander Calder and his Bmw Art Car|
After staging a series of successful exhibitions in Europe and the USA, Calder moved to France in 1956. He died in New York in 1976.