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: bmwgroup.com/culture
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.