Alexander Calder

Convection, 1974
Original lithograph printed in colors on Arches wove paper
20 x 26 in (50.80 x 66.04 cm)
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Limited-edition Ink signed "AC" in the plate
Blind stamp lower right
Publisher Mourlot, Paris "The Flying Colors Collection", 1975 for Braniff Airlines

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. This lithograph is one from a set of six comprising The Flying Colors Collection commemorating this historic project which created a piece of artwork that was seen by more people than have looked at any other single work of art in the 20th century.

Convection by Alexander Calder

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