Artist: Alexander Calder American (1898-1976)
Title: Sky Bird
Original Colour lithograph on Arches wove paper
Printed at Atelier Fernand Mourlot, Paris 1974
Signed with the artist's monogram and dated on the stone lower right
Shipped Flat via FedEx.
Certificate of Authenticity.
Sheet Size: 20 in x 26 in / 51 cm x 66 cm
A superb impression of the definitive state, from the edition commissioned by Braniff International Airlines, 1974. One of six plates comprising the Flying Colors Collection, bearing its blind stamp in the sheet lower right. In 1972, Dallas based Braniff International Airways commissioned Alexander Calder to paint a full-size Douglas DC-8-62 airliner as a "flying canvas."
The Flying Colors Collection created a piece of artwork (The painted aircraft) which was seen by more people than have looked at any other single work of art in the 20th century.
While at the hangar Calder befriended many of the Braniff Maintenance and Engineering personnel and even painted his unique designs on their lunch pails and toolboxes. At the time, some of the employees did not like the designs but quickly changed their mind once they realized they became owner’s of their own Calder masterpieces.
Braniff CEO H. L. Lawrence is seen congratulating Alexander Calder at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on October 29, 1973, with the original Calder painted 1/25 scale model in the foreground and the finished artwork in the background. Photo: Photographer Randy Black, Copyright BFC Collection
"In 1972, Dallas based Braniff International Airways commissioned Alexander Calder to paint a full-size Douglas DC-8-62 airliner as a "flying canvas." Models of the aircraft were sent to Calder at his studio in France in November of 1972, and work commenced. Braniff announced the Calder collaboration to the public on June 4, 1973. This was to be the first time that an artist had ever painted a jetliner used in regular airline service. Painting began at the carrier's Dallas Love Field Operations and Maintenance Base. Calder supervised the painting of the aircraft at the Braniff Base, and personally painted the two left side engine nacelles with two of his designs called "Beastie" and "Sunburst". While at the hangar Calder befriended many of the Braniff Maintenance and Engineering personnel and even painted his unique designs on their lunch pails and toolboxes. At the time, some of the employees did not like the designs but quickly changed their mind once they realized they became owner's of their own Calder masterpieces."(artsy.net)
Braniff's The Flying Colors of the United States launched in 1976 to commemorate the Bicentennial of the United States.
“Alexander Calder was best known for his invention of the mobile and his wire sculptures. My whole theory about art is the disparity that exists between form, masses, and movement, the artist once said. Born in 1898 in Lawnton, PA, Calder turned to art in the 1920s, studying drawing and painting at the Art Students League in New York. He moved to Paris to continue his studies in 1926, where he was introduced to the European avant-garde through performances of his Cirque Calder. I was very fond of the spatial relations, the whole thing of the vast space. I’ve always loved it, he said of his interest in the circus. Calder attracted the attention of such notable figures as Marcel Duchamp, Jean Arp, and Fernand Léger. Over the course of seven decades, along with his famous mobiles, he also produced paintings, stabiles, standing mobiles, monumental outdoor sculptures, works on paper, domestic objects, and jewelry. He lived in both Roxbury, CT, and Saché, France, before his death in 1976 in New York, NY. Today, his works are found in major collections including The Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Tate Gallery in London." (artnet.com)