The first BMW Art Car, famous artist Alexander Calder painted in 1975. In the years that followed the unique Collection grew bigger and bigger. Artists like Stella, Lichtenstein, Warhol and Koons turned BMW cars into BMW Art Cars.
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All the BMW Art cars to the current date are:
BMW 3.0 CSL art car – Alexander Calder 1975
Created by American sculptor Alexander Calder for his friend Herve Poulain, the BMW 3.0 CSL became the first piece of art of an exclusive and unique collection. Calder’s design of the BMW 3.0 CSL was the first Art Car ever, and one of his last works of art before he died in 1976.
BMW 3.0 CSL – Frank Stella 1976
The second BMW Art Car was created by Frank Stella, an American artist and a passionate motor racing fan, who used a black and white square grid pattern taking inspiration from the technical graph-paper. He painted a BMW 3.0 CSL coupé in 1976.
BMW 320i – Roy Lichtenstein 1977
In 1977 Roy Lichtenstein turned a BMW 320i into a piece of his art that was driven by Poulain and Mignot at Le Mans 24-hour race and finished 9th overall and first in class. When Lichtenstein was drafting his Art Car, he spent a long time thinking about all the things that happen to a car. The result of this critical examination of the car is an amazing blend of aerodynamic qualities on the one hand and artistic skill on the other.
BMW M1 – Andy Warhol 1979
The fourth BMW Art Car, a BMW M1, was created in 1977 by the Pop Art legend Andy Warhol who, unlike the previous artists, worked directly on the full-scale vehicle and painted the car himself. For Andy Warhol to paint an automobile seems natural. His studio was known as a factory and his greatest fame came from portraying Campbell’s Soup cans.
BMW 635CSI – Ernst Fuchs 1982
In 1982 Austrian painter Ernst Fuchs created the fifth BMW Art Car, a 635 CSi. He took his inspiration from a dream he had when he was 5 years old.
BMW 635CSI – R. Rauschenberg 1986
The Rauschenberg BMW 635 CSI Art Car – the sixth addition to BMW’s collection of 15 Art Cars – is the first in which the artist used photographic methods to transfer images (including images of famous classical paintings) to the car. Rauschenberg extended his use of Art Car motifs in his six-part, 1988 “Beamer” series – presented as transparent films on enameled aluminum and using his trademark collage techniques. The paintings will be offered for sale from the artist’s private collection.
BMW M3 – M.J. Nelson 1989
After seven days of tireless work, the Australian artist, Michael Jagamara Nelson, transformed “his” black BMW M3 from the Motorsport section of BMW Australia into a masterpiece of Papunya art.
BMW M3 – Ken Done 1989
Ken Done had definite ideas from the very first moment as how to decorate the BMW M3 the Australian BMW Motorsport department gave him.
BMW 535i – Matazo Kayama 1990
In the design of the BMW 535i, Matazo Kayama wanted on the one hand to express his fascination with BMW technology and on the other evoke vivid associations with modern Japan.
BMW 730i – Cesar Manrique 1990
Cesar Manrique had a clear point of view on the design of the BMW 730i: in his eyes, the automobile s an indispensable feature of daily life; it greatly influences the way we see the world around us.
BMW Z1 – Keith Haring 1990
Keith painted the Z1 with an apparently random pattern.
BMW Z1 – A.R. Penck 1991
For A.R. Penck, the BMW Z1 was already a “work of art”, in which the creativity and fantasy of the engineer and designer were reflected.
BMW 525i – Esther Mahlangu 1991
“My art has evolved from the tribal tradition of decorating our homes”, said the South African painter Esther Mahlangu of her work. With the painting of the BMW 525i, she wanted to link this handed-down art form to the modern appearance of the automobile. A challenge that Mahlangu mastered outstandingly with the creation of the first African Art Car.
BMW 3 Series racecar – Sandro Chia 1992
“Paint me, paint me!” these are the words the surface of the BMW called to him, said Sandro Chia on his first meeting with the prototype of a 3 Series racing touring car.
BMW 850CSI – David Hockney 1995
“BMW gave me the model of the car and I kept looking at it and looking at it”, says David Hockney on the creation process of his BMW Art Car.
BMW V12 LMR – Jenny Holzer 1999
The American concept artist, Jenny Holzer, has covered the 15th Art Car, a BMW V12 LMR, with surprising messages – messages that she says “will probably never lose their relevance”.
BMW H2R – Olafur Eliasson 2007
BMW H2R project, 2007, a work by contemporary artist Olafur Eliasson created in conjunction with BMW’s Art Car program.
BMW Z4 – Robin Rhode 2009
Imagine a canvas nearly as large as a football field. On it bold, swirling shapes in primary colors like red, yellow and blue. As the eye uncovers the rhythm of the lines, curves, circles and color splotches, something else is revealed: these forms must have been created by tire treads! A work of art like no other, created by an artist like no other.
BMW M3 GT2 – Jeff Koons 2010
At the premiere of the 17th BMW Art Car Jeff Koons unveiled and signed his car in front of 300 international VIP guests on June 1 in the Centre Pompidou, one of the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions for modern and contemporary art. It is the same place where Roy Lichtenstein back in 1977 first presented and signed his Art Car.