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The airplane appeared just as Cubism and the modern art movement emerged. The forward-looking nature of human flight was fertile subject matter for these abstract expressionist pioneers. Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Kazimir Malevich, Giacomo Balla, and Robert Delaunay produced works inspired by and featuring the airplane.

Aviation offered the ideal link between the Cubists’ redefinition of space and alternative perception of reality and the Futurists’ desire to escape the constraints of everyday life and divorce humanity from the past. Malevich and Delaunay in particular were taken with aviation. For them, flight was a metaphor for the transformation of consciousness, a liberation from the constraints of normal existence, and a redefinition of time and space. They had a passion for the new 20th-century technologies and were fascinated with the notion of escape from the earth.

Display Status

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Object Details
Type ART-Paintings Medium Painting, Robert Delaunay, Eiffel Tower and Gardens, Champ de Mars Physical Description Framed and glazed canvas painting with chloroplast backing board. Dimensions 2-D - In Frame (H x W x D): 198.1 × 185.4 × 7.6cm (6 ft. 6 in. × 6 ft. 1 in. × 3 in.)
Inventory Number I20221472001 Credit Line Lent by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC Data Source National Air and Space Museum Restrictions & Rights Usage conditions apply
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