Calder Foundation and BMW present: Calder BMW Art Car (Artist’s Proof). Artist’s Proof on display at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, for the opening of “Alexander Calder: Minimal / Maximal.”

New York/Munich/Berlin. Calder Foundation and BMW are
pleased to announce the presentation of the Calder BMW Art Car
(Artist’s Proof)
for the opening day of “Alexander Calder:
Minimal / Maximal” at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin on August 22,
2021. Conceived by BMW Group Classic for the Calder Foundation, the
Artist’s Proof realizes Calder’s dream of creating his own example of
the first BMW Art Car, operating as the kinetic work of art that the
artist intended.

Alexander S. C. Rower, grandson of the artist and president of the
Calder Foundation, recalls, “I first encountered the BMW Art Car as a
kid at the opening of my grandfather’s far-ranging retrospective at
the Whitney Museum in 1976. I asked him about the roar of its M49
engine, and he smiled and told me he wanted to make one for himself.
He died just a few weeks later. Ever since, I have dreamed of
realizing his wish to bring the car to life to experience its full
glory in motion. I am thrilled that that day has finally come, and
that the car will be activated for the opening of the Neue
Nationalgalerie’s ‘Minimal / Maximal’ exhibition, which highlights the
key element of social activation so fundamental to Calder’s work.”

It is important to note that the Artist’s Proof is not a replica,
clone, copy, reproduction, facsimile, or 1:1 of the 1975 Calder BMW
Art Car. Rather, it is the identical Artist’s Proof that Calder was
entitled to but was never realized until now. Meticulously built from
an original BMW 3.0 CSL, the Artist’s Proof will carry the same
Vehicle Identification Number, with the suffix “AP” (227592/AP).

The story behind Calder’s legendary BMW Art Car originated not in the
automotive but rather the aeronautical sphere. In 1974, French
auctioneer and racecar driver Hervé Poulain visited Calder at his
studio in Saché, France, to propose translating the artist’s recent
collaboration with Braniff International Airways into the world of
cars; Calder’s painted DC-8-62 airplane, inaugurated in 1973, had been
wildly successful. BMW and Poulain commissioned Calder to paint a
design on a BMW to be raced at the 24 Heures du Mans in 1975. The
result was a momentous collaboration that spurred an entire Art Car
program at BMW—a prestigious, high-profile crossover with the art
world. After Calder’s Art Car was raced at Le Mans, it was
subsequently exhibited at the artist’s sprawling retrospective at the
Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City in 1976, where it
occupied a prominent place in the museum for the run of the
exceptionally popular exhibition.

Poulain recalls, “It was a thrilling moment as a young driver to meet
the great American artist Alexander Calder at his home in Saché.
Racing what became the first in a storied tradition of prestigious Art
Cars is a memory I will never forget. I am delighted that more people
will now get to experience Calder’s vision, thanks to this new
Artist’s Proof.”

The Calder Foundation and BMW Group Classic consulted with key
members of the original team to realize this project, including not
only Poulain but also Jochen Neerpasch, who was a key supporter of the
BMW Art Car series from the beginning, and Walter Maurer, who did the
technical painting of the Calder BMW Art Car in 1975 as well as of the
Artist’s Proof in 2021.

Following its debut in Berlin, the Calder BMW Art Car (Artist’s
Proof) will be presented at The Bridge in Bridgehampton, New York, on
September 18, 2021. The Calder Foundation will subsequently lend
Calder’s Artist’s Proof to exhibitions worldwide.

On the occasion of 50 years of its cultural engagement, BMW has
recently joined forces with Acute Art to initiate a unique virtual
exhibition. Since July 21 and for the first time ever, the BMW Art Car
by Alexander Calder and the renowned BMW Art Car Collection are being
exhibited in augmented reality (AR) via the free Acute Art app,
marking the first time that the digital rolling sculptures are
accessible to everyone around the world at any time.

Not only BMW Group Cultural Engagement but also the BMW 3.0 CSL
celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021. The BMW 3.0 CSL is
not only a legend as a BMW Art Car. As a serial version, it was
launched alongside the BMW 3.0 CSi in 1971 and was defined by the
characteristics of its name: coupé, sport, lightweight. Produced in
small series beginning in 1971, the lightweight coupés quickly became
particularly important. The BMW 3.0 CSL was raced with the famous BMW
Motorsport Works colors from 1973 on and triumphed six times in the
European Touring Car Championship. The BMW 3.0 CSL is still one of the
most iconic cars in the BMW automobile history.

Calder BMW Art Car (Artist’s Proof), 1975 / 2021 on
Alexander Calder: Minimal / Maximal
Potsdamer Straße 50, 10785 Berlin
August 22, 2021, from 10:00am–6:00pm

The Bridge
1180 Millstone Rd, Bridgehampton, NY
Saturday, September 18–Sunday, September 19, 2021


For further questions please contact:
Prof. Dr
Thomas Girst
BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs

Head of Cultural Engagement
Telephone: +49 89 382

Lily Lyons
Calder Foundation
Director of External
Phone: +1 212 334 2424

Christoph Gontard
BMW Group Corporate and Governmental
Head of BMW Group Classic Communication 
Phone: +49
89 382 53404