Following our story last week about Olafur Eliasson’s latest addition to the BMW Art Cars series, here are some photographs of the other 15 cars in the series, which invites leading artists to work with the marque’s vehicles. Above: Alexander Calder (1975).
The collection began in 1975 when French racing driver Hervé Poulain commissioned his friend Calder to paint his BMW 3.0 CSL (above). Below: BMW 3.0 CSL painted by Frank Stella, 1976.
The Art Cars have been displayed around the world and are on permanent display at the BMW museum in Munich, Germany. See our previous story for details of Eliasson’s new Art Car.
Photographs © BMW AG
Here’s some more information from BMW:
The BMW Art Car Collection
Established in 1975, the BMW Art Car Collection now includes 16 works by prominent artists – including David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, Roy Litchenstein, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol – each making a unique artistic statement about the appearance and meaning of cars in our time. The Art Cars reflect the cultural and historical development of art, design and technology. Below: BMW 320i group 5 racing version painted by Roy Lichtenstein, 1977.
It was the French racing driver Hervé Poulain who first commissioned an artist – his friend Alexander Calder – to paint his BMW racecar in the early 1970’s and this was the spark that led BMW to develop the Art Car program.
In the first years of the project, primarily racing cars were transformed into art objects – some of these even started in the famous 24-hour Le Mans race. Later the Art Car collection was extended to include series vehicles. In 1999 the American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer created the 15th BMW Art Car – she ‘described’ a BMW V12 Le Mans racing car with her word-art, calling her artwork ‘Truisms’. Below: BMW M1 group 4 racing version painted by Andy Warhol, 1979.
Apart from bein permanently displayed at the BMW museum in Munich, cars from the collection have been exhibited by numerous museums and galleries worldwide, including the Louvre in Paris, the Palazzo Grassi in Venice, the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney and the Guggenheim museums in New York and Bilbao.
In April 2005, BMW selected Eliasson for its 16th Art Car commission, with input from an international board of curators comprising Bruce W. Ferguson, dean of Columbia University in New York; Pi Li from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Peking; Suzanne Pagé, director of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Francisco; Donna de Salvo, chief curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; and Carla Schulz-Hoffmann, assistant head curator of the Bavarian State Picture Collections. Below: BMW 635 CSi painted by Ernst Fuchs, 1982.
Below: BMW 635 CSi painted by Robert Rauschenberg, 1986.
Below: BMW M3 group A racing version painted by Ken Done, 1989.
Below: BMW M3 group A racing version painted by Michael Jagamara Nelson, 1989.
Below: BMW 535i painted by Matazo Kayama, 1990.
Below: BMW 730i painted by César Manrique, 1990.
Below: BMW Z1 painted by A.R Penck, 1991.
Below: BMW 525i painted by Esther Mahlangu, 1992.
Below: BMW 3 series saloon-car racing prototype painted by Sandro Chia, 1992.
Below: BMW 850 CSi painted by David Hockney, 1995.
Below: BMW V12 LMR painted by Jenny Holzer, 1999.
Below: Your Mobile Expectations, BMW H2R race car adopted by Olafur Eliasson, 2008. For more on this project see our earlier story.