BMW Art Car Collection.

First comprehensive publication about the BMW Art Car Collection. A richly illustrated overview of the history of the legendary BMW Art Cars.


Munich. The BMW Group and publisher Hatje Cantz are  pleased to present the first comprehensive publication about the  legendary BMW Art Cars. The richly illustrated book presents a unique  overview of the history of this automotive collection, launched in  1975, and designed by major modern and contemporary artists. Various  portraits and interviews provide an insight into their creative  processes while giving a descriptive account of the historical  development of the collection.

For over 40 years, the BMW Art Car Collection has fascinated art and  design enthusiasts as well as lovers of cars and technology the world  over with its unique combination of fine art and innovative automobile  technology. The collection first started when French race car driver  and art aficionado Hervé Poulain, together with Jochen Neerpasch, then  BMW Motorsport Director,  asked his artist friend Alexander Calder to  design an automobile. The result was a BMW 3.0 CSL which in 1975  competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it quickly became the  crowd’s favourite: the birth of the BMW Art Car Collection.


Since then 17 international artists have designed BMW models, among  them some of the most renowned artists of our time: Alexander Calder  (1975), Frank Stella (1976), Roy Lichtenstein (1977), Andy Warhol  (1979), Ernst Fuchs (1982), Robert Rauschenberg (1986), Michael  Jagamara Nelson (1989), Ken Done (1989), Matazo Kayama (1990), César  Manrique (1990), A. R. Penck (1991), Esther Mahlangu (1991), Sandro  Chia (1992), David Hockney (1995), Jenny Holzer (1999), Olafur  Eliasson (2007), Jeff Koons (2010).

These “rolling sculptures” offer a wide range of artistic  interpretations. When David Hockney created his Art Car in 1995, he  painted the inside of the car on the outside, revealing everything  from internal engine parts to a dog in the back. Roy Lichtenstein on  the other hand depicted the outer world on his car, from the sun to  the tarmac. Robert Rauschenberg incorporated photographic transfers of  classical paintings while Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons used the canvas  of the car to portray the essence of speed.

The BMW Art Car publication featuring 200 pages and 148 images was  released by art publishing house Hatje Cantz (ISBN 978-3-7757-3345-8;   € 29,80). A slip case provides the personal “parking space” for this  book that was designed by Schmid+Widmaier Design. Its cover was  created by Jeff Koons. The publication includes a wide range of  significant articles by international experts and art historians. The  co-founders of the Art Car series, Hervé Poulain and Jochen Neerpasch,  are also having their say. 

About BMW’s Cultural Commitment

For more than 40 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged  in over 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the  main focus of its long-term commitment on modern and contemporary art,  jazz and classical music as well as architecture and design. In 1972,  three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter  specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters.  Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Olafur  Eliasson, Jeff Koons, Zubin Metha, Daniel Barenboim and Anna Netrebko  have co-operated with BMW. The company has also commissioned famous  architects such as Karl Schwanzer, Zaha Hadid and Coop Himmelb(l)au to  design important corporate buildings and plants. In 2011, the BMW  Guggenheim Lab, a global initiative of the Solomon R. Guggenheim  Foundation, the Guggenheim Museum and the BMW Group celebrated its  world premiere in New York. The BMW Group takes absolute creative  freedom in all the cultural activities it is involved in for granted –   as this is just as essential for groundbreaking artistic work as it is  for major innovations in a successful business.

Further information:

Hatje Cantz, based in Ostfildern, near Stuttgart, and  with a branch in Berlin, is one of the leading specialist publishers  of art books. In close cooperation with international museums and  artists, around 250 new releases appear each year, more than half of  them in English or in multiple languages. Aside from its artist  monographs, the publishing house cooperates with established art  institutions to produce catalogues with academic merit. Hatje Cantz  sees itself as a facilitator of art whose goal is to inspire and  disseminate knowledge about art and artists. Its publishing program  brings together the most compelling international titles on art,  photography, and architecture. Its high-quality production and  worldwide distribution of individually designed, carefully produced  books are the publisher’s core brand and passion.

The BMW Group

The BMW Group is the leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and  motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. As  a global company, the BMW Group operates 28 production and assembly  facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than  140 countries.

In 2013, the BMW Group sold around 1.963 million cars and 115,215  motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year  2012 was euro 7.82 billion on revenues amounting to euro 76.85  billion. At 31 December 2012, the BMW Group had a workforce of 105,876 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term  thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established  ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain,  comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to  conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.