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BMW Art Cars

Stylish Speedsters on Tour

A BMW 320i designed by Roy Lichtenstein

World-Famous Artists Design Special-Edition BMWs

Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella and Robert Rauschenberg are all on world tour — at least, their famous automobiles are. Four BMWs designed by the artists are on display as part of a traveling BMW Art Cars exhibit. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA, was the first U.S. venue in the global exposition, which also visited New York's Grand Central Terminal. Its next showing will be during a three-city tour in Mexico. The creative cars have already been shown in Africa, Australia, and several countries in Asia.

The event showcases both racing and production models from the German car company, including Warhol's 1979 design of a BMW M1; Frank Stella's 1976 BMW 3.0CSL; Rauschenberg's 1986 design of a BMW 635 Csi; and Roy Lichtenstein's 1977 BMW 320i. Three of the four cars—those by Warhol, Stella and Lichtenstein—also participated in France's Le Mans 24-Hour Race following their debuts, some receiving accolades.

Andy Warhol's BMW M1 Frank Stella's BMW 3.0CSL
Andy Warhol's BMW M1
Frank Stella's BMW 3.0CSL

The exhibit features behind-the-scenes production footage, from a young Warhol working on his vehicle to Frank Stella and Robert Rauschenberg discussing their design influences and inspirations. Interviews with various experts are included, such as that of Hervé Poulain, the French auctioneer and racing driver who first started the BMW Art Car project in the 1970s.

The installation shown at LACMA displays four out of the current total sixteen BMW Art Cars. Others include those from American artists like David Hockney, who designed a BMW 850CSi in 1995, and Jenny Holzer with her 1999 BMW V12 LMR. International artists include Japan's Matazo Kayama, with his 1990 535i, and Denmark's Olafur Eliasson, who illustrated a BMW HR World Speed Record Hydrogen Car in 2004. BMW is currently in discussion for the development of the seventeenth art car.

A side view of Jeff Koons' specially-crafted BMW M3 GT2

Back to Le Mans
BMW unveiled its 17th Art Car, an M3 GT2 created by American multimedia artist Jeff Koons, at the Centre Pompidou in Paris on June 1, 2010 to an audience of 300 international VIP guests. Following in the footsteps (or perhaps tread marks) of legendary BMW Art Cars designed by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Frank Stella, Koons' specially-crafted M3 also raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France on June 12-13, 2010. Finely-tuned by Koons and a team of BMW engineers to optimize both its aesthetic and aerodynamic properties, this colorful, race-ready coupe can rocket to 100 mph in 3.4 seconds.


Info: www.bmw.com
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