To coincide with the 40th anniversary of BMW’s cultural commitment, the legendary BMW Art Car Collection can now be seen for the first time in a virtual video tour on the Internet.
It looks at the origin, history and development of the collection using extensive photography, as well as a film devoted to each of the 17 works of art. Furthermore, historic racing footage and comments from the artists can be seen. The art car project began in 1975, when renowned artists from all four corners of the globe were invited to contribute to the series with the creation of contemporary vehicles.
Most recently, in 2010, BMW celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Art Car series with acclaimed artist Jeff Koons. He created the 17th vehicle of the collection, which went on to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hour race. All BMW Art Cars will be showcased until 25 September in the first comprehensive exhibition of the art cars at the BMW Museum in Munich. The initial idea of the collection was to have a car designed by an artist. It was the product of the imagination of French auctioneer and racecar driver, Hervé Poulain.
On his initiative, American Alexander Calder designed a BMW 3.0. CSL racer at the beginning of the 1970s. The first vehicle to bring together the worlds of art and motorsport took part in the 24-hour of Le Mans. The enthusiastic reception of the rolling sculpture was the spark of inspiration that led BMW to create the entire Art Car Collection.
“One day I said to myself, now is the time to do something grandly communicative and heroic and unite my two passions, by having my racing cars painted by the leading artists of the time,” Hervé Poulain said about his vision. Since then, a total of 17 male and female artists from nine countries and all five continents have contributed to the diversity and aesthetics of the collection. Artists such as Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, AR Penck, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer and Olafur Eliasson have taken part. The collection attracts interest all over the world: displayed at the Louvre in Paris, the New York Whitney Museum, the Palazzo Grassi in Venice, the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney and at the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao. From 2006 to 2010, the BMW Art Car Collection completed a world tour, taking it to museums in Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Australia, India, Taiwan, China, Russia, Africa, the United States and Mexico. The Arts Cars – symbols of the interconnection between art, design and technology – will continue to be shown at international museums in the future