The story of the Calder BMW 3.0 CSL, and indeed BMW’s whole Art Car program, began following the success of Calder’s painted DC-8-62 airplane in 1973. French auctioneer and racecar driver Hervé Poulain visiter Calder at his studio in Saché, France, to propose translating the idea to the world of car’s. BMW and Poulain commissioned Calder to paint a 3.0 CSL, also known as the Batmobile, to be raced at the 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans. Having blown minds at Circuit de la Sarthe, it went on to be exhibited in 1976 at the artist’s sprawling retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
Created by BMW Group Classic for the Calder Foundation, this Artist’s Proof is the realisation of Calder’s dream of creating his own example of the first BMW Art Car, functioning as the kinetic work of art that Calder intended. BMW are keen to stress that this is no mere replica, but rather an identical Artist’s Proof painstakingly built from an original BMW 3.0 CSL, something Calder was always entitled to, but never made a reality until now. The Artist’s Proof will carry the same Vehicle Identification Number as the original, with the suffix “AP” (227592).
Following its debut in Berlin, the Calder BMW Art Car Artist’s Proof will be displayed at The Bridge in Bridgehampton, New York, on September 18, 2021. The Calder Foundation will subsequently lend the Artist’s Proof to exhibitions worldwide, no doubt spreading immense joy wherever it goes. Of all the Art Cars to emerge from BMW’s program, the original has always stood out, a testament to the vision and talent of Calder himself. Now that there are two Calder Batmobiles in the world, doesn’t everything seem just a bit better?