Calder Foundation

Calder BMW Art Car

Date 1975
Paint on BMW 3.0 CSL
187" × 80 7⁄10" × 53"
BMW Group, Munich
Historical Photos  2
Related exhibitions  2
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1976)

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Calder’s Universe. 14 October 1976–6 February 1977.

Solo Exhibition
Centro Botín, Santander, Spain (2019)

Centro Botín, Santander, Spain. Calder Stories. 29 June–3 November 2019.

Solo Exhibition
Chronology  2

Prompted by Calder’s project with Braniff International Airways to paint a DC-8 jet, French auctioneer and racecar driver Hervé Poulain commissions Calder to design the first-ever BMW Art Car. After construction, testing, and maintenance, the car is painted in 1975.

14 and 15 June 1975

Calder attends the Le Mans 24-Hour race, where his BMW Art Car is driven by Poulain, Jean Guichet, and Sam Posey. Due to a mechanical failure relating to the crankshaft, the car does not complete the race.

Works / Unusual Project 25
Related Timeline
1963–1976 Monumental Works

In 1963, Calder completed construction of a large studio overlooking the Indre Valley. With the assistance of a full-scale, industrial ironworks, he began to fabricate his monumental works in France and devoted much of his later working years to public commissions. Calder died in New York in 1976 at the age of seventy-eight.