BMW Group India presents the 1979 Art Car painted by most renowned American artist Andy Warhol in India. His creation will be exclusively exhibited from 31 January – 2 February 2020 at the India Art Fair in New Delhi. After Alexander Calder, Frank Stella and Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol created the 4th Art Car for BMW with the BMW M1Group 4 to compete at the infamous 24-hour race of Le Mans.
BMW Art Cars or the ‘Rolling Sculptures’ are original masterpieces of art that demonstrate an individual synthesis of artistic expression and automobile design. Since 1975, 19 international artists have created Art Cars based on contemporary BMW automobiles of their times, all offering a wide range of artistic interpretations.
Mr. Rudratej Singh, President and Chief Executive Officer, BMW Group India said, “At BMW, we just don’t build the best performing cars, but deeply believe in the intangibles. We hold our design aesthetics very dear; this inspires us as well as our users to stretch their creative boundaries. People love BMW for its superior performance, safety, luxurious experiences, and an underpinning is the design and aesthetic creative sensibility.
To help build and strengthen intercultural platforms of creativity in the field of art, music, design and architecture is therefore very core to us. India Art Fair is a perfect platform for us to reach out to our discerning customers and showcase the brands aesthetics and design philosophy. My personal favourite is the exclusive showcase of the most photographed BMW Art Car in the world – by Andy Warhol. It is at India Art Fair and I would urge our fans and patrons not to miss seeing it in person! We bring to India yet another timeless interaction between art, artist and the automobile closer to our customers and connoisseurs of art.”
#4 BMW Art Car Andy Warhol 1979 BMW M1 Group 4
“I love this car. It’s more successful than the artwork,” was the opinion of Andy Warhol after his sweeping brush strokes had transformed the BMW M1. It took him less than half an hour to create the fourth exhibit in the BMW Art Car Collection. 40 years later, enthusiasm for the mid-engined sports car remains unabated. Already world-famous at that time, the US icon of Pop Art shared the same passion with many automobile fans of that bygone era. And the fascination of the unique special created by Warhol has indeed increased. Many fans regard his Art Car as the highlight of the entire collection.
A person who declares soup cans a work of art or aspires to have a department store closed so that it may be preserved as a museum for posterity, will not see any conflict between technology and creativity. Consequently, this is how he worked. Instead of first designing a scale model and leaving the final completion to his assistants as his predecessors did, the pop art legend painted the BMW M1 from the beginning to the end himself. “I have tried to give a vivid depiction of speed. If a car is really fast, all contours and colours will become blurred”.
The name Andy Warhol is the quintessence of pop art. Born in Pittsburgh USA in 1928, he studied from 1945 to 1949 at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He began his artistic career as a commercial artist and was successful in holding his own exhibition in New York as early as in 1952. In 1956 his work was acknowledged with the coveted “Art Director’s Club Award“. 1962 saw the creation of the legendary “Factory” – a negation and reversal of traditional artistic ideas as it had never been seen before. His celebrity portraits and paintings of trivial objects became famous. Warhol died in New York in 1987.
BMW Art Car Collection
For over 40 years, BMW Art Car Collection has fascinated art and design enthusiasts as well as lovers of cars and technology with its unique combination of fine art and innovative automobile technology. Several cars from BMW Art Car Collection are usually on display at the BMW Museum in Munich, the home of BMW Art Cars, as part of its permanent collection. The remaining BMW Art Cars travel the globe – to art fairs as well as exhibitions.
The BMW Art Car collection was born 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 competed in 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1975, where it quickly became the crowd’s favourite. Since then, 19 international artists have designed BMW models, among them some of the most renowned artists of our time: Alexander Calder (BMW 3.0 CSL, 1975), Frank Stella (BMW 3.0 CSL, 1976), Roy Lichtenstein (BMW 320 Group 5, 1977), Andy Warhol (BMW M1 Group 4, 1979), Ernst Fuchs (BMW 635CSi, 1982), Robert Rauschenberg (BMW 635CSi, 1986), Michael Jagamara Nelson (BMW M3 Group A, 1989), Ken Done (BMW M3 Group A, 1989), Matazo Kayama (BMW 535i, 1990), César Manrique (BMW 730i, 1990), A. R. Penck (BMW Z1, 1991), Esther Mahlangu (BMW 525i, 1991), Sandro Chia (BMW M3 GTR, 1992), David Hockney (BMW 850CSi, 1995), Jenny Holzer (BMW V12 LMR, 1999), Ólafur Eliasson (BMW H2R, 2007), Jeff Koons (BMW M3 GT2, 2010), John Baldessari (BMW M6 GT3) and Cai Fei (BMW M6 GT3).
The BMW Art Car Collection is by no means complete as it stands. The number of exhibits will continue to grow, adding artistic expressions to the collection.
About BMW’s Cultural Commitment
Since its inception, BMW Group India has participated in leading cultural engagements across the country. In 2007, two BMW Art Cars embellished by world renowned artists Andy Warhol (BMW M1, 1979) and Roy Lichtenstein (BMW 320i, 1977) were presented at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai. BMW Art Car by Jeff Koons, Sandro Chia and Cesar Manrique have been exclusively showcased at India Art Fair. Since 2012, BMW has partnered with Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the contemporary art fair, which brings international artists to India and creates a global platform for Indian artists. In 2012-13, the innovative BMW Guggenheim Lab came to India. Based at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum and conducted at six different sites in Mumbai, the lab organised six weeks of free program with diverse audience and communities addressing the challenges and conditions of the urban city.
For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in over 100 cultural cooperation’s worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art, classical music and jazz 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, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have co-operated with BMW. In 2016 and 2017, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari created the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car Collection. Besides co-initiatives, such as BMW Tate Live, the BMW Art Journey and the ‘Opera for All’ concerts in Berlin, Munich, Moscow and London, the company also partners with leading museums and art fairs as well as orchestras and opera houses around the world. The BMW Group gives absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities – as this initiative is as essential for producing groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.