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Alexander Calder
Sky Bird (Braniff International Airways), Alexander Calder

1974

About the Item

Artist: Alexander Calder (1898-1976) Title: Sky Bird (from the Braniff International Airways Flying Colors Collection) Year: 1974 Medium: Lithograph on Arches paper Size: 20 x 26 inches Condition: Excellent Edition: 3,000, plus proofs Inscription: Signed and dated in the lithographic plate; embossed with Flying Colors Collection blindstamp lower right. Notes: Published by Braniff International Airways, Dallas, TX; printed at Atelier Fernand Mourlot, Paris. ABOUT THE FLYING COLORS COLLECTION: In 1972, Dallas based Braniff International Airways commissioned Alexander Calder to paint a full-size Douglas DC-8-62 airliner, dubbed 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. It was the first time in aviation history that an seminal fine artist had ever painted a aircraft to be used in regular airline service. Painting occurred at the carrier’s Dallas Love Field Operations and Maintenance Base. Calder also 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 owners of their own original Calder artworks. The following original lithographs comprise the Braniff International Airways “Flying Colors Collection” that was created by Calder and Braniff to commemorate their historic collaboration. ALEXANDER CALDER (1898-1976) Credited with the invention of the mobile, Alexander Calder revolutionized twentieth-century art with his innovative use of subtle air currents to animate sculpture. Calder was prolific and worked throughout his career in many art forms. An accomplished painter of gouaches and sculptor in a variety of media, Calder is best known for poetic arrangements of boldly colored, irregularly shaped geometric forms that convey a sense of harmony and balance. He also designed jewelry, tapestry, theater settings and architectural interiors. From the 1940s on, Calder's works, many of them large-scale outdoor sculptures, have been placed in virtually every major city of the Western world.
  • Creator:
    Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976, American)
  • Creation Year:
    1974
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 20 in (50.8 cm)Width: 26 in (66.04 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
  • Gallery Location:
    Fairfield, CT
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU1342114178172
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