Famed artist's 'Art Car' parked in Dublin

Calder's BMW 'art car'

Alexander Calder may be best known for his sculptures, but his BMW is a sight for sore eyes. Currently on show at the Museum of Modern Art in Dublin until June 2009, the car is one of 16 that the master artist designed in the 70s.

This is the first time one of the 16 BMW Art Cars has gone on display in Ireland.

The Art Car, with its cheeky red and yellow design, was one of 16 special cars that Calder dreamed up for the BMW Art series. During its lifetime it ran in only one race, when U.S. race car driver Sam Posey took it for a 24-hour spin at the Le Mans endurance car race in France.

Calder himself was an extraordinary figure. He came from a family of artists but started life as an engineer before turning to sculpture. During his life he worked as a mapmaker, machinery salesman and newspaper illustrator, and his bizarre occupations took him all over the U.S. 

He is most famous for inventing the hanging decorations known as mobiles, and for experimenting with sculpture as no one has done before. He seems to succeed at everything he did. "What he wanted to work, worked," said his friend, New York Times art critic John Russell.

Calder’s car is on display at the Modern Art Museum along with jewelry that he designed between 1920 and 1960.